Iran News Round Up February 19, 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

  • Former Intelligence Minister and current Assembly of Experts member Ali Fallahian, also wanted by Interpol in connection with the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing and the 1992 Mykonos assassinations, announced his candidacy for president and said his administration would consider negotiations with the United States if Washington implements the requests and demands of the Supreme Leader.

Diplomacy

  • LEF Commander BG Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam traveled to the United Arab Emirates to discuss increasing police cooperation between the two countries on issues related to drug trafficking and "special crimes."

Military and Security

  • Armed Forces General Staff Intelligence and Operations Deputy MG Mohammad Bagheri discussed coastal development in southeastern Iran, and sea power:
    •  "To understand and discover the treasure of [southeastern Iran], we have to take strong and fundamental steps that this conference [on developing the Markan coastal region] can assist." 
    • "We are living in a crisis [stricken] region that the Persian Gulf is at the center of, and the vast majority of our exports and imports are through the Persian Gulf and the Hormuz Strait, while the almighty has bestowed us with the Chabahar port for leaving the impasse of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. But why do we not export our oil and gas through the Oman sea and why aren't our imports not conducted through Chabahar?"
    • "The IRGC, which took the responsibility of the country's southeastern [region] five years ago, while it is a military institution, entered with a cultural outlook and relied on the people and provided engaged people with weapons to provide security. In that time the IRGC entered the region with several battalions and today this amount has increased and currently has provided security through Basij forces."
    • "When the navy abandoned the Persian Gulf and came to the Sea of Oman, not many noticed its significance and [they even] criticized the commander of this force, but today the effects of this strategic decision speak for itself." 
    • "If we do not invest today in these regions and various arenas we will face many issues once oil runs out. Officials must save themselves from conflicts and pay attention to developing these regions and I, while thanking the President for inaugurating this conference, hope that towards the end of this administration or the beginning of the next one this attention is institutionalized and receives a separate place in the budget."
    • "Armed forces will create 2-3 major cities in this area and the Jask and Chabahar ports that the Navy will create will be larger than the current cities."
  • The Ministry of Intelligence reported the release of 3 individuals arrested for their connections with the BBC earlier this month and the escape of 4 individuals on its list of persons of interest or in confinement, one of whom has already left the country.

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