Iran News Round Up May 23, 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

  • Head of the Judiciary Branch Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani stated, “Election results are certainly important and the people’s passionate presence in the election scene [carries] this importance.” He warned, “The Judiciary system will prevent any tensions in holding the elections.”
  • Head of the Imam Khomeini Research and Education Institute Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi said, ”It is with a result-oriented view that we say anyone who does anything that causes tumult in the Islamic system is haram [religiously forbidden], therefore the result of an action must also be important.”

Regional Developments

  • Fars News Agency reports heavy fighting between the Syrian army and armed individuals in the northern areas of the city of al-Qusayr.
  • A Jubhat al-Nusrah field commander was reportedly captured by Syrian forces in al-Qusayr.
  • Ahlul Bayt News Agency reported and posted photographs of two Israeli warplanes reportedly entering Lebanese airspace recently.
  • In Iraq, armed individuals attacked a police station in a northern Baghdad suburb and killed four police officers.

Diplomacy

  • A source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied a Bahraini official’s claim that they had recovered an Iranian drone off the coast of Bahrain.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Middle East and African Affairs Deputy Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated, “Syria does not need Iranian military aid, and the Secretary of [Lebanese] Hezbollah Seyeed Hassan Nasrallah has provided a completely transparent and clear answer regarding the claims of Hezbollah’s presence in Syria.” 
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Abbas Eraghchi recommended American officials “to increase your level of knowledge regarding the legal dynamics in the political system and constitution of Iran.” 
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed Iran's opposition to a future American presence in Afghanistan, and stated, “America does not need to establish a permanent base in Afghanistan.”

Military and Security

  • In commemorating the anniversary of the first “Beit al Moghaddas” operation that liberated the Iranian city of Khorramshahr during the Iran-Iraq war, National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission (NSFP) member retired IRGC BG Esmail Kowsari discussed the operation’s ultimate goal of Israel's destruction:
    •  “After the Beit al Moghaddas operation and victory in this operation, even though Iran itself was involved with a total war, a brigade of forces received the order from Imam [Khomeini] to deploy and fight the Zionists to address the issue of Muslims in Syria and Lebanon.”
    • “All of the [goals] of these slogans were to reach [The Dome of the Rock] and destroy Israel; the Israel that was the mastermind of domination and [Global] Arrogance, and Imam [Khomeini] knew that if we hit the Zionists we would hit one of their pillars of Arrogance and their masterminds. Ultimately Beit al Moghaddas caused the liberation of Khorramshahr in its first stages. But we [must] not forget that the operation continues and just as the Imam introduced Quds and Israel’s destruction as the goal and said the path to Quds is through Karbala [Iraq], today the goals of that operation...must continue.”
  • Head of the National Teachers Basij Organization Sohrab Salahi discusses nuclear deterrence, commitment to the Syrian regime, a more internationally aggressive future administration and claims that the feminist movement is a Western plot to destroy Islam in Iran:
    • “Today the Islamic Republic has become nuclear. The ominous shadow of war will leave any country that possesses the enrichment cycle.”
    • “In the Syrian crisis, on one side there is the Islamic Republic and on the other there is the entire West and regional countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Our country’s officials have affirmed that we will not allow Bashar Assad to fall. Anyone who seeks Bashar Assad’s downfall will be dishonored. Iran has demonstrated in the Syrian matter that it has international power.”
    • “Today the Islamic Republic is a de jure international power. Anyone who doubts this can see the situations of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. On this basis, an administration must be chosen whose first strategy in the international arena is transforming the de jure power to a de facto one.”
    • “The enemy’s main goal in the soft war is changing the palate of the Iranian family from a pure 'Mohammadian' Islam to Western culture. For this act, the tip of the arrow is aimed at families and the main custodians of children’s training, meaning women. The enemy has many strategies for this, one example is launching feminist movements.” 
  • Head of the Basij Organization BG Mohammad Reza Naghdi said, “All of the Iranian nation’s achievements, including our country’s scientific and military achievements, are the results of resistance and fighting with America, and certainly compromise with America will cause the Iranian nation to become bankrupt.”  
  • Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Commander BG Amir Farzad Esmaili said, “9th Harz new air defense system can eliminate many aircraft and cruise missiles that have the capability to dive into essential and sensitive targets.”
  • Armed Force General Staff commander MG Hassan Firouzabadi announced the inauguration of the “Holy Defense News Agency,” whose goals include “spreading the holy defense cultural among the general audience” and “having cultural strategy, operation plans, and allocating necessary funds to prevent any distortions.” The news agency will officially begin media operations tomorrow. 
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi encouraged maximum participation in the elections and said, “God willing, with an informed presence we will have a strong and good election that will make friends happy and cause enemies to become hopeless and disappointed.” Saidi also emphasized the role of the people's basij in Syria, adding, "Syria has learned from [Iran’s] defense models and templates and we can observe the defense of pure Islam in that country. We have seen that Arab Salafi Islam and Turkish secular Islam, both of which are invalid, are opposed to pure Islam, and this is why they are pressuring Syria…. The 33-day war of Hezbollah, Hamas’ combat in Gaza, Lebanese Hezbollah’s presence [in Syria] and our role in the axis of resistance in Syria are all confrontations against the front of Socialism and Capitalism."

Economy

  • After a joint cabinet session to discuss Iranian policy regarding oil exports within the context of increasing international sanctions, National Iranian Oil Company Managing Director Ahmad Ghal’e Bani affirmed the continuation of bartering crude oil for basic goods and said, “With new methods, the issues of transporting and transferring currency will be reduced to the minimum."
  • Mehr News Agency reports that, despite implementing ‘resistant economy’ policies in the National Iranian Oil Company and $46 billion investment in the past three years, not a single gas phase in Southern Pars oil and gas fields has reached production capability. 
  • Iran and India have reached a new agreement to barter Iranian crude oil with Indian-produced products, including weaving goods technology and equipment.
  • First Vice President of the Commercial, Industrial, Mines, and Agricultural think tank Gholam Hossein Shafei announces, “Currently 70% to 80% of the currency resulting from exports is returned to the country’s economic system.” 
  • The Tehran Stock Exchange has reportedly grown by 243% in the past thirty days.
  • Despite a decrease in currency rates, the rate of dollar to the rial has not changed. 

Nuclear Issue

  • Permanent Representative of Iran in the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asgar Soltanieh said, “The recent report by the Agency’s Secretary is considered a document proving [that] our country’s nuclear successes and achievements [are] in line with total Agency supervision.” 

Photo of the Day

  • Basij Organization Deputy Commander BG Ali Fazli, Head of Armed Forces General Staff MG Hassan Firouzabadi, and Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini attend the inauguration of Holy Defense