Iran News Round Up February 21, 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

  • Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi said the "[2009] sedition was the enemy's design not an accident" and commented on soft warfare:
    • "If we are defeated in soft warfare, in the end we will have lost part of our homeland or some monetary and material damage will have been inflicted upon us, but defeat in soft warfare has a different meaning...if we are defeated in hard warfare, the afterlife reward will be awaiting us, but defeat in soft warfare means losing worldly and afterlife salvation."
    • "In this [soft] war the victims are those who perhaps it would have previously been unbelievable that these individuals would join the enemy's front."
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member Esmail Kowsari said the next president will be a Principlist, discussed P5+1 negotiations and reformists participation in upcoming presidential elections:
    • "For this reason [lack of reformist opposition in elections] no serious concerns are felt and, God willing, the 11th president will be a principlist."
    • "The West's analysis was that it could bring us to our knees while it faced defeat and, for this reason, postponed negotiations so it can see [the result] of the presidential elections. Our strategy and policies, especially regarding nuclear issues, is fixed; in the nuclear issue we move in the framework of the NPT treaty and the duties that the agency [IAEA] has determined for members, and we do not accept [anything] except that."
    • "We are continuously prepared for negotiations because we believe all affairs should be conducted in a legal framework [and] for this reason we do not have any concerns, and certainly the Westerners are attempting to take advantage of the Iran's elections. The P5+1 must know that if they prolong negotiations we will never stop and will continue our path of progress."
    • "This is natural that those who are moving in the framework of the system move on the basis on principlism. We say to reformists [that] if you want to come in the framework of the revolution there are no issues, but if your framework is based on the West we do not accept it [and] in reality reformists pursued the issue that the West wanted not what the people and revolution wanted."
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi said "anyone who [seeks to back down] against America will receive the curse and wrath of martyrs."

Diplomacy

  • [E] An Iraqi cabinet statement said that Iraqi Minister of Oil had been authorized to sign the “framework of the agreement” for establishing the so-called “Friendship Gas Pipeline,” that would transport gas from Iran to Iraq and Syria.
  • [E] Iranian Vice President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou held a meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana to discuss ways to further increase economic cooperation between the two countries.
  • [E] Ambassador to Turkey Bahman Hossein Pour said, “Turkey and Iran have had a difference of opinions over the Syria issue as of two years ago. The enemies had assumed that this difference of foreign polices…would lead to darkening the horizons of our bilateral ties. But no such thing happened, and the most vivid sign against that prediction is the level of bilateral trade, which is important for both countries…. Parallel with the expansion of bilateral trade and commercial ties the two countries" comprehensive relations, too, expanded to an extent which is unprecedented in Iran-Turkey relations during the past 500 years.”

Military and Security

  • Imam Hossein University Commander BG Hossein Zarif-Manesh announced the establishment of a Passive Defense think tank. This organization will be comprised of "elites" from six universities: Imam Hossein, Tehran, Iran Science and Technology, Tarbiat Moddares, Allameh Tabatabaei, and Sharif University of Technology.
  • Armed Forces General Staff Human Resources Directorate deputy BG 2C Mousa Kamali discussed temporary suspensions of soldier conscription and diversion of conscripts to government agencies and teacher positions in order to compensate for lack of human capital. Kamali also reported that the Armed Forces General Staff is seeking to reduce conscript salaries by 60-70% in the upcoming year.
  • Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Heydar Moslehi announced journalists loyal to the regime were key in the recent arrest of journalists accused of collaborating with British backed media.
  • Representative of Supreme Leader to the IRGC Shohada unit (Western Azerbaijan province) Hojjat al-Eslam Mahdavi said the enemy's strategy is to create division and separation between the people and the government.

Economy

  • [E] Iran and Pakistan reached an agreement to build a $4 billion oil refinery in Pakistan, capable of refining 400,000 oil barrels per day.

Photo of the Day

Lebanese Hezbollah Executive Council Deputy Sheikh Nabil Qaouk attends a mourning ceremony for BG Hassan Shateri.