Iran News Round Up March 12, 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

  • Chief of Staff of the Office of the Supreme Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani announced that "Iran does not seek war but is totally prepared for defense." He added, "With the grace of God, these sanctions will also be defeated, because in the past few years we have gained such power and such capabilities that no power can dare think of extending their reach towards this country."
  • First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said "the reason for sanctions isn't the nuclear issue, rather Iranian scientific expansion has worried the West, because we have declared many times that we have no intention to access nuclear weapons."
  • Interior Ministry Election Chief Hassan Ali Nouri said that candidates cannot advertise and hold press conferences as "presidential candidates" before the Guardian Council's candidate vetting process.

Regional Developments

  • Hezbollah Executive Council Vice Chairman Sheikh Nabil Qaok criticized Arab countries who cut ties with Syria:
    • "Arab countries have cut their relations with Syria when they are continuing their relationships with Israel and no kind of posturing against Israel has been seen from them, but we request them to send some of the weapons they send to Syria to Palestine ."
    • "This type of extreme behavior only benefits Israel, which, today, has found the best opportunity to break Syria off from the axis of regional resistance."

Military and Security

  • IRGC Navy Commander Admiral Ali Fadavi met with Iraqi Navy commanders to emphasize the necessity of Muslim countries guaranteeing Persian Gulf security.
  • Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander BG Farzad Esmaeili said that his forces had discovered and warned an American U2 air craft attempting to enter Iranian airspace:
    • "One of the proudest moment of [2013] was discovering, identifying, and pursuing one of the most technologically advanced spying and intelligence gathering air crafts called U2. This air craft possesses side, direct, above spectrum radar and electronic interception that can follow a target deep in the country."
    • "We have previously had this experience during a [2010] Artesh naval military exercise that took place in Jasek; two units of this aircraft were warned before entering [Iranian] air space and then left the area."
    • "Around noon of February 11 [2013], a U2 detection air craft with radar evasion capabilities received our air craft warnings in the Oman Sea area before entering Iranian borders."
    • "In that instant the airplane answered and obeyed our warning and immediately traveled far from our border, and today we are witnessing the distancing of this type of aircraft from Iranian borders." 
  • LEF Commander Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam announced LEF and IRGC Tehran units will form joint committees to provide security for the presidential election.

Economy

  • Iranian crude oil production was stable in the past month, close to 3 million barrels per day.

Photo of the Day

  • Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Commander BG Amir Farzad Esmaeili provides a press briefing on a reported American U2 spy mission near Iran.