Iran News Round Up May 6, 2014
A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
(E) = Article in English
Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors
- Fars News Agency published the first part of an exclusive interview with Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi:
- “Today the Americans and the entire world know that one of our operational goals is destroying US Navy Forces.” “Aircraft carriers provide US airpower in combat; therefore it is natural that we want to sink them.”
- “Americans are unaware of many matters. Their research centers analyzed the mock aircraft carrier in a common way. We have been building and sinking mock US destroyers, frigates, and cruisers for years. We sank their models within 50 seconds even with various operational [counter] measures.”
- “We will execute this regarding the mock aircraft carrier as well because destroying, annihilating, and sinking US boats has and will be in our plans.” Fadavi claimed that IRGC speed boats can travel at a top speed of 40 knots, while US vessels are stuck at 31 knots. He added that Iran planned to increase its boats’ speed to 80 knots, which he said was three times the speed of US destroyers.
- According to Ahl al-Bayt News Agency an unnamed source has denied reports of Sadr Movement Leader Moqtada al Sadr’s upcoming visit to Tehran.
- Head of IRGC Public Affairs Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif said accusations of IRGC profiteering amounted to “threats” that have been defeated.
- Eight “divisive” media networks operating in Qom were recently shut down; according to IRGC media affiliate Fars News Agency. Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary Hassan Nasrallah had reportedly sent a delegation to Qom last week to meet with the local governor and request that he shut down satellite stations affiliated with Shi’a activist networks that could create “problems.”
- One of the media outlets, Salam, is reportedly registered in California and has offices in Mashhad and Isfahan.
- Former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohammad Rasulollah (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani addressed the IRGC Hamedan Unit:
- “Today Syria stands as a symbol of resistance and standing against global arrogance...Syria has stood against all European, Arab, and Zionist countries. God has promised victory to the righteous.”
- “America is pursuing various interests in Syria, primarily to support the Zionist regime. Other goals of the Islamic Revolution broke out in Syria, and so they took advantage of some people’s ignorance in the Syrian civil war.”
- Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi requested that the IAEA remove restrictions on members’ “rights” to access nuclear technology for “peaceful purposes.”
- IRGC Brig. Gen. Deputy Commander Hossein Salami addressed the appointment ceremony of the IRGC’s Imam Hassan Mojtaba (Alborz Province) commanders, Brig. Gen. Ali Ostad Hosseini. The outgoing commander is Brig. Gen. Bahram Hosseini; it is unclear what position he is moving to.
- Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani discussed the lack of cultural freedom in Iran in remarks at the National Library and Archives: “The Supreme Leader is willing to call this the year of culture while the elements of culture are not permitted, beautiful women who come out and good singers are put to the side.”
- Rafsanjani added: “We do not have the right to enter into someone’s beliefs or reveal the secrets of the people to understand them.”
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that Iran will stop importing gasoline next year after the Persian Gulf Star refinery is operationalized.