Iran News Round Up February 7, 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

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reacted to the possibility of direct talks with the US:
    • "I'm not a diplomat, I'm a revolutionary and speak my mind honestly and clearly: You [the US] hold a weapon in front of Iran and want to negotiate. The Iranian nation will not be frightened by these [threats]."
    • "The ball is in your [the US] court. Because you have to answer if negotiations with the simultaneous continuation of pressure and threats have any meaning."
    • "To negotiate is to demonstrate good faith. You have done tens of things from bad faith and now speak of negotiations! Can the Iranian nation believe you have good faith?"
    • "At that time [four years ago when the US suggested negotiations] it was emphasized that we do not judge [before negotiations] and were were waiting to see their actions, but in the past four years we have witnessed nothing but conspiracies, aid to seditionists, and support of terrorists who assassinate Iranian scientists." 
    • "Negotiations with America will not resolve any issues because in the past 60 years they have not fulfilled any of their promises."
    • "With attention to these records and with attention to realities, we emphasize that negotiations and pressure are two separate paths, and the Iranian nation will not accept to negotiate under pressure and threats."  
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi said sedition will begin before the upcoming presidential election:
    • "If sedition is created we will go after the big seeds this time."
    • "The Late Imam [Khomeini] emphasized a 20 million Basij [force] when we used to have a population of 30 million; today we emphasize a Basij [force] of tens of millions."

Diplomacy

  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that the views of Iran, Egypt, and Turkey regarding Syria are converging. Ahmadinejad also rejected claims that IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Suleimani visited Egypt: "Did he visit Egypt? I have no information to this effect. I do not think he has any programs in Egypt.... I have not heard anything in this regard and I do not think these reports are true." [Nile News. Available on Lexis-Nexis]

Military and Security

  • IRGC Aerospace Force released what it claims is decoded video from the captured RQ-170 drone. The video purports to show footage of the UAV landing at Kandahar airbase in Afghanistan. [VIDEO]
  • Iran also released images of what it claims are mass produced clones of the US ScanEagle drone.
  • Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Eslami announced that Iran is exporting drone technology to Lebanese Hezbollah and building them in other countries:
    • "With the strategic depth that Iran possesses our advancements and equipment will be useful to them [Hezbollah]."
    • "Today Iranian drones have various buyers and we have transferred them to different countries, and we have exported factories and production capabilities.  There is a grand market ahead of us."
  • Commander of the IRGC Mohammad Ali Jafari said that the Guards are prepared to meet any ground-based military challenge:
    • "Our ground units today have established a deep and organized connection with the Basij. [Basij] Imam Hossein battalions are promoting combat and defense preparation in all population areas and are prepared to conduct defense and combat missions.  There are hundreds of ground combat battalions that have been created for ground defense missions."
    • "The Guards' defensive strategy is whole and complete.  We have identified all possible enemy strategies and approaches and have defensive designs for all possibilities, and our power in ground, air and sea is at the capacity of responding to all [possible] threats." 
  • IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander BG Abdollah Eraghi commented on IRGC counter-intelligence:
    • "In today's circumstance in which spying with advanced tools in virtual and real space is on the enemy's agenda, counter-intelligence must prevent damage to the organization."
    • "Observing protection principles guarantees the health of the organization and, without a doubt, the slightest error in this area will cause the enemies to become happy and hopeful."
  • Commander of IRGC Seyyed al-Shohada Base (Isfahan) BG 2C Javad Estaki said construction and development are among the IRGC's strategies:
    • "In the IRGC strategy document that has been approved by the Supreme Leader construction is a strategy: for example, one can point to the construction of the world's largest concrete dam with the height of 315 meters on the Bakhtiari river."
    • "Operational bases have a very important role in the resistance economy, and in this regard, this base [Seyyed al Shohada] has signed a contract with 5,500 internal contractors."
    • "Every year we construct several field hospitals in deprived areas, and this year 6 specialized and 100 public clinics have been established in Sistan and Baluchestan province and 50,000 patient visitations and 500 surgeries were conducted in these hospitals."
    • "In 23 years, approximately 1,900 industrial and civil projects have been completed across the country [by the Seyyed al Shohada base] and this assigned duty has even crossed borders."
    • "The enemy is attempting to destroy Islamic countries and we have to say that Islam is the religion of peace and security and has no quarrels with any countries, but we have to be vigilant so the enemy cannot exploit these internal and external divisions." 

 Photo of the Day

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addresses Iranian Air Force personnel in Tehran.