Iran News Round Up February 25, 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

  • Senior Advisor for International Affairs to the Supreme Leader and potential presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati said it is possible for the 2+1 coalition to choose a candidate not in the coalition, and added that the future administration must have  close relationship with the clerical establishment.

Military and Security

  • IRGC released new video details of the US RQ-170 drone allegedly brought down by IRGC Aerospace Forces last year.
  • Armed Forces General Staff Intelligence & Operations Deputy MG Mohammad Bagheri announced that joint Artesh and IRGC military exercises have been planned and will take place next year. 
  • IRGC Aerospace Force Commander BG Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the Ayoub Drone Israel says flew 60-70 kilometers into its airspace in fact flew 400 kilometers in Israeli airspace and added that the Supreme Leader had personally reviewed the role of drones in gathering intelligence for Iran:
    • "In my opinion, Hezbollah intentionally designed the path of the drone to bypass Zionist regime observation balloons, on which both Hezbollah and [Iran] have intelligence." 
    • "In 2009 and 2010 we noticed that the Americans were bringing new drones to the region and we did not have much intelligence regarding them.  We knew predators but only 2 pages of information in the internet were available about [the] RQ-170.... In any case we were able to discover that these drones are placed in Kandahar base and even identified their nest locations."
    • "When the RQ-170 drone entered our country we brought it under our control and landed it north of Tabas."
  • IRGC Commander MG Mohammad Ali Jafari said that the Supreme Leader expects the IRGC to have a more active, precise, and intelligent role and provided some insight into IRGC philosophy and its cultural mentality:
    • "We must always keep this point in mind in all dimensions of our mission, that guardianship is not an occupation [but] rather it is a duty." 
    • "We have to create skillful and specialized preparation by properly adjusting to the volume and complication of enemy conspiracies so we can be successful to the fullest extent in doing our holy prophetic task."
  • Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy BG Massoud Jazayeri commented on future expansion of al Qaeda operations and Iranian response to sanctions policy:
    • "Al-Qaeda groups and agencies who conduct their operations in line with American interests will soon expand their operations to other locations and from now on will create new problems for Europe and America."
    • "If [the] people of Europe and America do not confront their governments' aggressive and greedy policies, they cannot be far from potential future challenges."
    • "The expiration date for applying pressure to alter behavioral doctrine regarding countries and independent political units has passed and the doctrine of threat against threat is a new capacity that will change many political, security, economic, and defense equations."
    • "It is impossible for the Islamic Republic to abandon its goals and policies against pressures, bargaining, futile negotiations or a menu of such foreign attempts and the trend is also a good indication of the opposing side's shortcomings."
    • "Today, unlike [in] the past, more countries have full access to the rest of the [world's] countries and this issue is especially important in the military dimension and has changed and altered equations, and if aggressive governments do not accept this reality then history will teach them difficult lessons."

Nuclear Issues

  • Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission (NSFP) Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in a press interview that the Islamic Republic's condition for ceasing 20% uranium enrichment is the lifting of all sanctions.
  • Head of Supreme National Security Council Said Jalili said the world expects constructive, logical, and legitimate answers to Iranian suggestions in the upcoming P5+1 talks:
    • "Some world powers should know that they cannot make the Islamic Republic give up its nuclear rights by relying on nuclear weapons and imposing different pressures on the Iranian people."
    • "The only path for world powers to save themselves from self-imposed problems is to pursue strategic, consistent interaction with the Iranian nation and unconditional acceptance of Iran's nuclear rights."

Economy

  • Iranians reacted negatively to the Central Bank's newly established pre-sale gold coin prices.

Iran in the Afghan Media

  • Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to pressure Iran to stop execution of Afghan citizens after Iran recently executed ten Afghans allegedly involved in drug smuggling and transferred their bodies to Afghanistan. AIHRC says the suspects were denied a fair trial as well as their basic legal rights. Afghanistan’s Rights and Justice Party also condemned Iran’s “secretive” executions of Afghan refugees.
  • [E] The upper house of Afghanistan’s parliament on condemned the execution of Afghans in Iran and asked the government and international human rights organizations to prevent such incidents. A statement from the Senate Secretariat said Iran had promised all Afghan death-row prisoners in that country would have their penalties commuted to life imprisonment. However, it lamented Iran’s failure keep its promise.

Photo of the Day

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei attends a mourning ceremony for Ayatollah Khoshvaght.