Javan Online says that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, has begun his presidential campaign. Javan Online, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, has made the claim on the basis of an online Facebook campaign in support of Mashaei called “The Campaign to invite Engineer Mashaei for the presidential election.” This page as well as several others in support of the president’s controversial ally have been taken as proof that the latter’s presidential campaign is under way.
“These pages can point to the patrons of Engineer Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei in the presidential election of 2013, and the school Mashaeism, Mashaists, etc., …”
“Things being heard indicate that the electoral team of Mashaei have the aim of entering the propaganda arena of the 2013 presidential election by concentrating on social networks and for realising this goal they have begun their programme with online social networks like Facebook.”
It neglects to mention the fact that just over 260 people have liked the main page in question thus far.
Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, in the course of today’s Friday prayer sermon, reiterated the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s emphasis on the need for calm prior to the upcoming presidential race:
“The view of the gentleman [i.e., Khamenei] is that we keep the country calm and if the authorities are truly committed to the Guardian of the Jurist [i.e., the theory which underpins clerical and thus Khamenei’s rule] they will pay attention to these orders of the Supreme Leader. Any statements or plan to exacerbate tension is a violation of Guardianship [i.e., a transgression of the orders set down by Khamenei].”
Movahedi Kermani added, “If the authorities have a point of weakness, they will solve the problem themselves and don’t need their differences to be trawled into society at large and in the same way that the Supreme Leader expects that the economic problems be solved. Because this is the obligation of the authorities, and the people of Islamic Iran loyal to Guardianship have shown they will not sell their revolution due to economic problems.”
Regarding Syria he said, “the intervention of foreigners was the cause of the crisis in Syria …The foreign interferers [should] let the Syrian people decide for themselves and if there is need for reforms, and there is such a need, reforms will take place … Everyone knows well that Syria’s crime is that it is in the front line in resistance against Israel.”
Asr-e Iran, in an interview with the Islamic Coalition Party’s chief, Mohammad Nabi Habibi, has said that the Ahmadinejad government is certainly thinking about the 11th presidential election due to be held in June 2013, and will do its utmost to ensure one of its own number captures the executive branch.
“That Mr. Ahmadinejad wants to see [in the presidency] an individual who thinks along similar lines to himself at the end of his tenure, is a correct interpretation, and it must be said that such an approach is natural from any president who doesn’t have permission to run for election again.”
Mehr News reports that every day six people are killed as a result of knife and other non-firearm-related crime inside Iran.
Police commander, Ismail Ahmadi Moqaddam, told journalists on Thursday evening that “it is possible economic sanctions have brought about pressures, but we don’t give importance to them and the people are busy with their own activities. They know from what side the pressures come from.”
Addressing the recent increase in the prison population and criminal cases, he continued, “the level of crimes in the country is low, but recent high prices have affected the increase in crime. Of course with the increase of controls prior to Eid and New Year we will control this issue. There is no need for worry.”
Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the head of the Principalist faction in the Majles, and in law of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as reported by Tasnim News, has claimed that “the enemy wants to destroy the experience of religious government or make it unsuccessful. The enemies have reached this conclusion that they will be an obstacle for the revolution through economic pressure.”
Haddad Adel also stated that “of course it is clear that in the world on one side is arrogance and on the other pure Islam. On one side there is money and weapons and lies and on the other side, faith and spirituality and martyrdom.”
He continued by referring to the 2009 presidential elections and allegations of fraud, “the impressive participation of 85% of the people in the 2009 election was a subject of pride for us, but unfortunately some embittered the sweetness of the election the day after and labelled the regime [guilty] of fraud …The sacred defence [i.e., the Iran-Iraq war 1980-88] was a world war against Iran, but the damage [inflicted] by the seditionists [i.e., representatives of the Green, but also Reformist movement] was no less than the damage Saddam [Hussein] did in the 8-year war.”
Regarding negotiations with the United States, Haddad Adel commented, “the enemy is trying to ensure that a group will win the election that will compromise with America and stand opposed to the Leader.”
Regarding the so-called “deviant current” associated with President Ahmadinejad’s inner circle, e.g., Mashaei, Hamid Baqai, Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, Haddad Adel remarked, “in the election one side of the Principalists are present. Another side are also the Reformists, out of which the seditious movement emerged and on [yet] another side there is the deviant current. Of course the seditionists and deviationist have different languages, but in action and path their movement is one and the same.”
Deputy foreign minister for Syria, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, has said that the claim of the Syrian government’s “probable use of chemical weapons” is an “ominous conspiracy for direct military intervention in this country.”