LATEST: Kazempour Appointed as OPEC Governor

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SUMMARY: This morning The Washington Post publishes an interview with President Rouhani. Inevitably, the two leading topics are nuclear talks and the Syrian conflict, and there is puffery about what Rouhani would have said if he had met President Obama at the United Nations this week.

Iran Feature: Rouhani Interview on Nuclear Talks, Syria, & Revolutionary Guards

Arguably, however, it is this paragraph on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that is the most significant:

One of the programs and pledges on my campaign was to insist on bringing a cultural, social and political environment in Iran and diluting the security dimensions of society at the moment. Regarding the IRGC, it’s an important institution. It helped Iran emerge victorious from the Iraq-Iran war. What the Supreme Leaders said, and I have also said, is that the IRGC should understand and analyze political affairs. But it shouldn’t get itself involved in any political groupings or activities.

For more than a week, we have covered Rouhani’s effort to get the IRGC out of politics. It is one matter, however, to do this through statements at home. It is another to declare the effort in an American newspaper.

The President would not have made the statement unless he was dedicated to pushing back the Guards.

And he did it not only with the belief that he has the backing of Ayatollah Khamenei but with an open declaration — “the Supreme Leader said” — that support.

Latest Updates, From Top to Bottom

Kazempour Appointed as OPEC Governor

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili has been appointed Iran’s governor for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Kazempour returns to post having been replaced in 2008.

Intelligence Minister: More Political Prisoners To Be Released

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said Wednesday that more political prisoners will be set free on October 24, marking the Muslim feast of Ghadir Khum.

Sixteen political prisoners were freed last week, and Iran’s Prosector General said on Monday that the Supreme Leader has approved the release of another 80.

Alavi said, “The freedom of these prisoners has happened in the past and it will also continue in future too.”

Fars says the pardons came at the request of the head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani.

Video: Rouhani’s Full Interview with CNN

On Wednesday, we considered headline extracts from President Rouhani’s interview with CNN. Now the full video has been posted:

Former President Khatami: Release All Political Prisoners

The front page of Etemaad newspaper features a call by former President Mohammad Khatami to “free all political prisoners and not just a few”.