Iran News Round Up February 20, 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

  • Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf met with 50 Members of Parliament  yesterday. Reports indicate that the MPs are not opposed to Qalibaf's potential presidential candidacy.
  • Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced that "trustworthiness, justice promotion, and implementation of the law" will be the slogan for Iran's presidential election.
  • Head of the Ulama and Clerics Society Supporting the People of Bahrain Hojjat al-Eslam Yadollah Shir Mardi, during the Regional Ulama and Clergymen Summit to Support the Oppressed Bahraini People, blasted the Bahraini and Qatari governments and announced Iranian support for the overthrow of the Khalifah regime:
    • "Our message to the oppressed people of Bahrain is that, just as we defended the defenseless people of Gaza against attacks of the Zionist regime, we will support you and we announce that the Al-Khalifah regime will soon be overthrown according to divine promises."
    • "Global Arrogance [West] has attempted to establish appropriate bases for itself by reaching out to small Persian Gulf Arab countries."
    • "Some regional countries like Qatar have become the executioners of grand Western conspiracies to eliminate people's resistance in the region.  Qatar also attempts to bring the country of Syria to the edge of destruction and this country is not content with this and has plans to demolish Iraq as well."

Diplomacy

  • Former Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdol Mehdi traveled to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials and discuss regional developments.
  • Iraqi Presidential Advisor Sheikh Khaled ol-Mowla met with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi in Lebanon, during which he offered condolences for the death of BG Hassan Shateri, blamed Israel for his death, and emphasized Islamic unity.

Military and Security

  • IRGC Ground Forces Commander BG Mohammad Pakpour reported on IRGC developments in southeast and northwest Iran, the establishment of IRGC-trained local popular forces, and IRGC Ground Forces cyber warfare:
    • "IRGC Ground Forces have missions in two dimensions, one defense and the other one security.... In the security dimension, responsibility of the country's northwest, west, and southeastern regions have been given to IRGC Ground Forces, and since 2010 we have undertaken operational and infrastructure projects in the northwest that resulted in the high level of security we have enjoyed this year, and it has been similar in the west as well."
    • "In the southeastern region as well, where security responsibilities have been given to the Ground Forces since 2009, infrastructure projects have been undertaken and [the region] is secure."
    • "In 2009 and 2010 and before then we witnessed multiple terrorist attempts in the southeastern region of the country, but by transferring security to the people with IRGC guidance, good security has been established in vast areas of the southeastern provinces.... Since the beginning of last year, many terrorist teams had either entered the country or sought to enter the country for terrorist activities [and] we annihilated or arrested them upon arrival or before arriving in the country."
    • Regarding the upcoming Grand Prophet IRGC military exercise, he said: "Some of the new equipment that has been delivered to the IRGC ground forces, such as electronic warfare, communications, and light individual arms, will be tested."
    • "Tactics and defensive designs will be tested and one of the goals of the exercise is assessing unit combat capabilities and organizing popular defense in the form of Imam Hossein Basij units."
    • "Currently in the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, south of Kerman, and south of Khorasan we have units and combat groups whose members are drawn from the indigenous population, and IRGC guides and supports these people.... In the northwest of the country we have also implemented this, and the Martyr Kaveh bases that we have established are constituted by indigenous people of the region and this has helped regional security significantly."
    • "Development and eliminating cultural and social issues are other security dimensions of the IRGC, and in my opinion, the weight of the IRGC Quds Base's popular assistance in the southeast of the country is far heavier than the military dimensions."
    • "Unfortunately some some neighboring countries have a role in supporting terrorists, for which we have evidence, and some of these terrorists confessed to this matter during interrogations."

Nuclear Issues

  • Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi Davani said that Iran's share in providing future global energy should be introduced in the upcoming P5+1 negotiations:
    • "We speak with the world based upon our own advancements in technology and there is no need for aggression."
    • "We have proven our technological [capabilities] and it is best that in negotiations the matter of of each country's share in providing future global energy be negotiated."
    • "Until now I have been continuously optimistic about the result of negotiations; negotiations have continued and the sides have reached mutual understanding."
    • "All reports we have published and all of the inspections that the agency [IAEA] has done on our activities is evidence that Iran has not violated laws or procedures, and we have no problem with negotiating parties."

Photo of the Day

  • Head of the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari attends the Regional Ulama and Clerics Summit to Support the Oppressed Bahraini People.