Iran News Round Up February 1, 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

  • Expediency Council and Assembly of Experts member  Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said that obedience to the velayat [Guardianship of the Jurisprudent] will neutralize sedition:
    • “Be careful for slogans in the next elections; 'free elections' completes the enemy’s puzzle because all [Iranian] elections have been free and competitive. One should not undermine the achievements of the system by using slogans, so be awake and aware because future seditions will begin with such words.”
    • "If it were not for the velayat’s [efforts at preventing sedition], the revolution would have been destroyed.  So do not go under the flag of parties, wings, bands and groups; instead look only toward the velayat and be a companion of the velayat because, in Islam, we do not have party orders and organizations and that which will neutralize seditions is obedience to the velayat.” 
  • IRGC Cultural Deputy and Expediency Council member Mohammad Hossein Safar Harrandi said that the people’s insight [basirat] is the secret to neutralizing all conspiracies:
    • “This revolution took place among a people who are insightful and follow the velayat, and with self-awareness and through following the velayat they have familiarized the world with the revolution.” 
  • MP Gholam Ali Haddad Adel commented on the 2+1 principlist coalition and sanctions against Iran:
    • “Part of the economic problems are due to the enemies’ conspiracies and sanctions and these problems have to be managed.”
    • “The solution to this war [sanctions] is a resistance economy.”
    • “There may be disagreement over preference with Qalibaf and Velayati but they announced their posture after the sedition [2009 protests].”
    • “In polling, we came to the conclusion that if all three of us enter the race it is possible that the principlist vote would be broken. We formed a coalition so that one person amongst these three would enter the elections and [avoid making] the same past mistake.”
    • Regarding his own inclination towards a candidacy, he said “We have to see what will be the result of this coalition.” 
  • Head of the Islamic Motalefeh Party Mohammad Nabi Habibi discussed his own party’s candidate selection and the 2+1 principlist coalition:
    • “The Followers Front believes it should enter the elections environment with a clerical axis, and the Motalefeh party will also not announce an independent candidate.”
    • “Our policy is [for] the principlists to arrive at a grand coalition.  If all principlists enter the field with a clerical axis and possibly have a single candidate their chances of victory will be increased.” 
  • Tehran Interim Friday Prayer leader Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sedighi said that Muslim world unity will cause the enemy’s defeat and urged for the creation of a single Islamic nation:
    • “Efforts to unite the world of Islam and Muslims is a relic of the late Honorable Imam [Khomeini] which is a sensitive and destiny changing duty, and by any means...Muslims must be kinder to each other and find unity and avoid dispersion.”
    • “If all Muslims stand united in front of the enemies then the Palestinian problem, which is the foremost problem of the Muslim world, will be resolved, and instead of relying on some so-called Muslims and American Islam, including Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Salafists [which results in] the killing of other Muslims, all of the Muslim world's capabilities will be used to confront the main enemies, meaning America and Israel.” 
    • “All of us must attempt to form a single Islamic nation, and the holy system of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made it the highest calling to create this unity in the Muslim world and is continuously attempting to achieve [this goal].” 
    • “Unity of the Muslim world and the creation of a single Islamic nation is a divine order...and we must avoid any division and sedition, because if sedition takes place in Islamic society it will cause division amongst Muslims, and this is more devastating than genocide.” 
    • “Unfortunately the enemy in the region, by creating division and relying on Muslims’ own resources, conspires against the interest of the world of Islam, and Muslims in some regional countries are killed by so-called Muslims.” 
    • “In such a situation all of us must think about unity, it is required of us; We must not allow the main issue of the world of Islam, meaning Palestine, to be turned into a secondary issue so that some of the resources of the world of Islam would be put in service for the interest of the enemies of religion, Islam, and humanity.” 
  • Head of the Global Islamic Awakening Council Ali Akbar Velayati urged Muslim unity in an address to the Islamic Awakening Conference in Lahore, Pakistan:
    • “After the passing of one or two centuries of imperialist cultural aggression, whose effective weapon has been the penetration of Islamic society, Muslims have reached the conclusion that following these imported Western values will not save Muslims.”
    • “We are optimistic that this Islamic awakening movement, which is currently taking place globally, will continue to expand.  An awakening [movement] with the goal of returning to the grand Islamic values [is of interest to people] and neglecting the grand Islamic values will cause further separation from Islam.”

Diplomacy

  • Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that he “…[hoped that US Secretary of State nominee] John Kerry would at least correct some of the American government’s anti-Iranian policies." 

Military and Security

  • National Security and Foreign Policy parliamentary commission spokesman Hossein Naghavi affirmed Parliament’s support for the country’s intelligence apparatus and praised the Intelligence Ministry for disrupting Western security and media conspiracies:
    • “American and British intelligence agencies are attempting to identify information sharing agents in the country and use it against the Iranian nation in a security puzzle through their dependent networks such as BBC and VOA, but proper vigilance and awareness and the praiseworthy Intelligence Ministry neutralized this conspiracy.”
    • “American and British intelligence agencies have been no match for the Unknown Soldiers of the Imam of the Age  [Intelligence Ministry agents]." 
  • [E] Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi said, “The recent assault by [Israeli planes] on Syria has taken the mask off the Syria crisis, proving that from the very beginning the main objective of planning armed measures and humanitarian crises in the country has been to [ensure] the Zionist regime’s interests.”
  • [E] FM Ali Akbar Salehi urged a “serious reaction” to the Israeli attack, adding, “We should be very cautious about the regime’s dirty goals in the region because the Zionist regime does not move within the framework of humanity, wisdom, and international regulations.”
  • NSFP member IRGC COL Mohammad Esmaili said regarding the recent MOIS operation in which several journalists were arrested, "On the eve of the presidential and [city] council elections, the enemy wants to either prevent us from holding these elections or create new challenges. But the Islamic Republic and our intelligence apparatus quickly and powerfully observed the situation so that we would not witness a repeat of movements like that which occurred in 2009 and brought great costs to bear on the country..... This most recent operation was an admirable and timely undertaking by our country's intelligence apparatus, and naturally, individuals that act on behalf of the enemy are traitors and we will deal with them decisively.... My request of the security apparatus is that, as they have controlled the situation and dealt quickly with all counter-revolutionary movements, they introduce their activities to the people."

Iran in the Afghan Media

  • Afghanistan's Ministry of Refugees says Iran plans to repatriate 100,000 Afghans on a voluntary basis in 2013.  According to the ministry, about 940,000 Afghans are registered in Iran and 1.4 million others lack residence permit.
  • Iran's Minister of Energy, Majid Namjou, visited Kabul and signed an agreement with his Afghan counterpart, Mohmmad Ismail Khan, for electricty supply from Iran to western Afghan provinces.  Iran plans to increase power supply to Farah Province up to 50 to 100 megawatts.

Picture of the Day

  • Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attend former Vice President Hassan Habibi’s funeral.