Is Ahmadinejad Sabotaging Economy Before Leaving Office?

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Since the election of President-elect Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian currency has gained considerably with respect to the dollar in Iran’s open, unregulated market. Many had taken this increase in value as a sign of renewed confidence by Iranians in Rouhani’s promise to improve relations with the West. Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the value of the toman had decreased dramatically, causing many Iranians to turn to dollars as a form of investment.

However, according to two articles by Reformist papers Shargh and Bahar, the strengthening of the toman may indeed be the result of actions taken by Ahmadinejad’s administration to fulfill a promise to bring down the toman value to below 3,000 with respect to the dollar. This decision by the current administration, which would be only a temporary solution, may cause serious economic challenges for the Rouhani administration. A summary of the two articles was also carried by Persian-language Radio Farda.

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Khamenei: Nuclear Issue Solvable if US Ends ‘Stubbornness’

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In his speech to members of the judiciary yesterday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed Iran’s elections, the need to help president-elect Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s nuclear file with the West.

In regard to negotiations with the West, Khamenei said, “Several countries have formed an opposition front to Iran and they lie to the international community. Through stubbornness they want to solve the nuclear issue. But if they put aside their stubbornness, solving the nuclear issue is simple and easy.”

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Complaint Filed Against Ahmadinejad’s Chief of Staff

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The spokesman for Iran’s parliament’s Article 90 committee has notified parliament that a “complaint case against the statements of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei has been sent to the Ministry of Intelligence and the inspector-general of the country.”

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Will Iran Have Reformist Vice President?

untitled The withdrawal of the only Reformist candidate, Mohammad Reza Aref, played a significant role in Hassan Rouhani’s victory in Iran’s presidential elections. Aref, who was vice president under Reformist Mohammad Khatami, withdrew in favor of Rouhani at the urging of Khatami, paving the way for a majority victory in the first round against conservative candidates who failed to unite. In his letter of congratulations to Rouhani, Khatami thanked Aref for playing a “prominent role” in Rouhani’s victory. The backing of Reformists such as Khatami, and also former president Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, were key factors in Rouhani’s victory. Many Reformists felt that by supporting Rouhani they could achieve some of their by goals, such as freedom for political prisoners and space to re-start political activities. Despite Aref not being a well known Reformist and most accurately labeled as moderate, some Reformists are hopeful that Rouhani will appoint Aref as vice president. Continue reading

Notorious Former Intelligence Minister Attends Rouhani Gathering

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The presence of Ali Fallahian, the feared former intelligence minister of Iran, at a conference in celebration of president-elect Hassan Rouhani’s campaign staff has sparked controversy in Iranian media, prompting those close to Rouhani to deny that Fallahian was ever invited.

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Khatami Warns of ‘Misplaced Expectations’ for Rouhani

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In a meeting yesterday at Tehran University, former president Mohammad Khatami warned about the “misplaced expectations” some may have with the election of moderate president Hassan Rouhani.

According to Khatami’s website, at the meeting, students from the Islamic Student Association of Tehran University shared their concerns with the Khatami and asked that they be conveyed to president-elect Rouhani.

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Has Rafsanjani Returned to Power?

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The common perception up until the 2013 Iranian presidential election has been that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been incrementally sidelined from positions of power ever since leaving the presidency in 1997. Although Rafsanjani is often referred to as one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic, his public positions on the 2009 election protests brought out into the open his many disagreements with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As a result, he lost his position as head of the Assembly of Experts and temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader, and was the target of constant attacks by hard-liners in the administration and Sepah, the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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Ahmadinejad’s Court Summons Ignites Backlash

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Yesterday afternoon, Mehr News reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been summoned to branch 76 of the criminal court in Tehran. According to Mehr, the complaint was filed by parliament speaker Ali Larijani, the head of parliament’s Article 90 committee, and Yaghoub Khalil Nejad.

The relationship between Ahmadinejad and Larijani is perhaps the most acrimonious among the top positions of power in the Islamic Republic. In February, on the parliament floor, Ahmadinejad played an audio recording which reportedly implicated Larijani’s brother in financial corruption. Parliament immediately then voted to sack Ahmadinejad’s labor minister. Only with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public warning did tensions subside.

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Will Losing Candidates Join Rouhani Cabinet?

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With Hassan Rouhani’s landslide victory, the futures of some his competitors appear uncertain. Websites that supported Rouhani’s campaign have already begun to speculate who the president-elect will pick for his cabinet. Mojtaba Hosseini has written in Reformist newspaper Etemad about the next steps for the five losing candidates.

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