Iran News Round Up February 14, 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

  • Chairman of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati echoed the ongoing condemnation of attacks against Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani on the anniversary of the revolution and said, "the horrible Qom incident was truly an explicit betrayal to the country." 
  • A special Parliamentary commission was formed to investigate the Larijani incident and the commission announced that six individuals have been arrested.

Military and Security

  • Hojjat al-Islam Mehdi Taeb, head of the Ammar Base [pro-Khamenei think tank] on Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah, and the IRGC's Khatam ol-Anbiya Construction Base:
    • "Syria is the thirty-fifth province for us, and a strategic province.... If the the enemy attacked us and wanted to take either Syria or [the southwestern Iranian province of] Khuzestan our priority would be to hold Syria, because if we hold Syria, we can also take back Khuzestan, but if we lose Syria then we cannot even hold Tehran."
    • Pointing to the necessity of a Basij Force presence in managing urban warfare, he said, "Syria had an army, but this army was incapable of managing war inside cities. Therefore, Iran suggested [to Syria] that they form a Basij in order to manage urban warfare."
    • "The Syrian Basij was formed with 60,000 Hezbollahi and [its formation] caused the urban warfare to be transferred from the Syrian army [to the Syrian Basij]."
    • "Of course, this adventure caused the Syrian Army to also become involved in some of these matters [urban warfare], and to become familiarized with all [aspects of the conflict]."
    • “In the 33 day operation, the Zionist regime attempted to break this lock [Hezbollah on the Israeli border] but after 33 days [Israel] let it go.”
    • "Hassan Nasrallah has noted in a speech that the Zionist regime said that it used one-hundred percent of its capabilities in this war, but we used only four percent of our capabilities.”
    • "[IRGC Construction Base] Khatam ol-Anbiya’s responsibility is to skirt sanctions.”
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi said "enemy air craft carriers do not have the value of food cans on the battlefield." 

Economy

  • Iran expanded its natural gas production capacity by inaugurating a refinery on the Persian Gulf island of Siri: 
    • The project required a $500 million investment and will increase daily capacity by 1500 pentane barrels, 4000 butan barrels, 1400 condensated gas barrels, and 8000 propane barrels. 
  • Vice Chairman of Parliament Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi announced that Iran's currency reserves are ranked 12th in the world.