Iran News Round Up April 16, 2013

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani proclaimed, "today we are witnessing that Arab [media] networks are striving on the path of Western goals and have stepped into anti-Iranian and anti-Shi'a projects."
  • 110 veterans of the Iran-Iraq War-era Intelligence and Operations Directorate endorsed former IRGC brigadier general and potential presidential candidate Alireza Zakani.
  • Parliament voted in favor of the previously rejected 2013-2014 fiscal budget, which reduced the budget by 1.2%.

Diplomacy

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast announced in response to the Boston Marathon bombings, "The Islamic Republic of Iran vehemently condemns any actions that endanger the lives of innocent people." 
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Said Jalili met with Oman's Speaker of the Parliament Khaled Ibn Halal Ibn Naser al-Mawali and said:
    • "Energy security is beholden to the efforts and cooperation of the two countries to maintain the security of the Strait of Hormuz."
    • "Those who have remained silent about the suppression of the Bahraini people and the rejection of their legitimate concerns are supporting terrorist groups busy killing people in Syria."
  • Fars News published an editorial by National Independent Islamic Student Association Political Secretary Ali Reza Karimi on the Boston Marathon bombings. Karimi writes, "Now imagine as a possibility that Salafists or al-Qaeda are identified as the perpetrators of the bombing in Boston. Then, Barack Obama, who has directly and indirectly supported these movements in Syria, will face intense criticism from the American public.... If Salafists are responsible, Obama will be forced to explain why, after the bitter experience of cooperating with the Salafists in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, he placed [the US] alongside them again and repeated the same mistake of Ronald Reagan."

Military and Security

  • Quds Force Commander MG Qassem Suleimani addressed a Kerman province Iran-Iraq War commemoration ceremony, where he addressed Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran's forthcoming election:
    • “An important issue that we face today is the creation of antagonism toward the Shi’a and we must bring the public’s attention to this issue and find out the reasons behind the killing of Shi’a in Pakistan, Syria, etc.  The ‘ulama are concerned about this issue."
    • "On important issue areas, for example, on Syria, the regular people and the officials are on the same page, and the people are worried. This condition exists for all of the world’s Muslims. Currently, the Shi’a have transformed into a single base and have found a single leader. Maybe there are problems but this is not a widespread issue and Shia consider Iran the [leader of the Muslim world].
    • “In the case of stability, Iraq positively influences the Arab world. Exporting the revolution sometimes requires cultural work and sometimes institutionalization is very effective.” [WF: Appears to be a reference to early failures to export the revolution to the Arab world. Now that the revolution has been exported to Iraq -- theoretically -- the cultural and institutional work that has been done there will help set conditions for export of the revolution to other parts of the Arab world.]
    • Stating that some Arab countries are attempting to return Iraq to previous conditions, he said, “The current status of Iraq continues and reversing this [new] course is not possible. The US and some regional countries went 90% of the way [in Iraq], this was a legal and electoral route, which was not successful.”
    • Stating that no country in the world has defended the interests of the Sunni as much as Iran, he said, “No Arab country has had the courage to give one cartridge to the Palestinians, but the Supreme Leader has even announced that we provide support to the Palestinians.”
    • “The Americans completely failed in Afghanistan and they will not stay there. Of course, they keep their bases, but they will not go to war. The Americans and the Europeans are currently running away from Afghanistan.”
    • “In Syria, some Arab countries have spent billions of dollars in order to [negatively impact] the situation, but the government and nation of Syria has resisted."
    • Referring to the Islamic Awakening, he said, “In Lebanon’s previous election, they spent $1.2 billion to prevent Hezbollah’s victories, but they were not successful.”
    • Pointing to the fact that Iran’s power and capability within the country has had a major impact on the Muslim world, he said, “The Supreme Leader has emphasized the people’s presence in the [upcoming] election. This is one element of the Islamic Republic’s power and this is more effective than a military maneuver.”
    • “The people do not pay much attention to political currents, they serve and listen to the commands of the velayat. It has been proven to the people that the velayat and Supreme Leader are the basis of the Islamic Republic system. We are the pioneers of war with complete belief in the velayat and obedience to the Leader. It is on this basis that the power of Iran is unbreakable.”
    • “In the future election we must not make a mistake. We must perform our role and duty in the presence of God.” 
  • Political Deputy to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC BG 2C Yadollah Javani said that the US has waged four wars against Iran:
    • "The Iranian nation, with awareness and insight, will once again create valor through active participation in [upcoming presidential] elections."
    • "America has faced defeat in its previous three wars against Iran, and in the fourth war it is seeking to be the victor by creating instability in the system's economy and [exerting] economic pressures through sanctions and introducing negotiations with Iran in a two-track form."
    • "America's first war against Iran was a military war which sought the overthrow of the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran through total support of Saddam's Baathist regime..."
    • "In the second war, which is known as the soft war, Americans and their government officials sought to achieve victory by targeting the Islamic values and beliefs of the noble Iranian nation and its youths. A clear example of this was the [2009] sedition."
    • "America, in its designed third war, sought to silence our country's engine of scientific progress by assassinating our country's [nuclear] scientists." 

Nuclear Issue

  • Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani announced that Iran does not have a plan for enriching uranium at levels above 20% but added, "If our researchers need a greater underwater presence, we have to build small engines that require enriched fuels between 45-56%."
  • Deputy of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Dr. Mohammad Ghannad discussed recent Iranian nuclear fuel achievements and efforts to build a yellow cake production facility:
    • "We have reached self-sufficiency in securing reactor and radiopharamaceutical fuels."
    • "In this region [Saghand area in Yazd province] a well with a depth of 357 meters and width of four meters has been drilled so extraction and securing reactor cycle fuel can take place."
    • "In addition to equipping the Saghand Yazd mines, activities have taken place in the Bandar-e Abbas [area] in this field. In addition, production of yellow cake with a capacity of 60 tons will taken place in Aradakan Yazd [area] this year. We are hoping it will be operational next year."

Economy

  • The largest state-owned Iranian company Persian Gulf Holdings went public, making it the largest corporate privatization in the country's history. It is initially offering 267 million stocks at approximately $0.40 per share.

Photo of the Day

  • Deputy Minister of Defense BG Majid Bokaei and Head of MODAFL Aerospace Industries Organization BG Mehdi Farahi attend the fourth festival of MODAFL young soldiers.