Iran News Round Up November 13, 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 and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors John Lesnewich and Mehrdad Moarefian. 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.

Politics

  • Special Assistant to the President, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Yunesi, discussed the lessons of Shi’a mourning commemorations of Ashura:
    • “The message that Imam Hossein transferred to the world of Islam is that [one] must obey the leader and Imam…. The other point of Ashura’s lesson is that the velayat and Imamate are a symbol of the world’s unity. Today more than ever, Islam suffers from the division, extremism and devilishness of the Yazidis [Yazid was third Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate in 7th century who was known for his corruptness and later killed Imam Hossein]. The way of the Imam and supporting the velayat is the secret to salvation.” 
  • Head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi commended the negotiations process and discussed future US relations:
    • “We cannot cut relations with northwestern Europe and America for a long period of time because the Imam [Khomeini] also said that ‘we cannot be cut from them until Judgment. One day they must understand that we are right and acknowledge this righteousness and [then] we will begin with them.’”
    • “The negotiations process is good. On the first day one cannot say yes. A bride saying yes also requires a few visits [It is custom for a bride to refuse the groom two times before accepting proposal at wedding ceremony].”
    • “There is group of radicals in Iran and a group of Zionist extremists on the other side…. Some time must be spent to remove all of the barriers.”
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that regional friends and negotiations are considered a source of pride and that “if the opposing side is not greedy, Tehran will respond with positive actions.” He added, “Some of the P5+1 member states showed their stances and the Iranian negotiations team did not move its needle outside of the principles of dignity, wisdom, and its interests.”

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

Military and Security

  • Interior Ministry Security and Law Enforcement Deputy Ali Abdollahi announced that Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade Safdar Rahmatabadi’s murderer was arrested and confessed:
    • “With the diligent effort of the Greater Tehran Law Enforcement Force, the murderer of the departed Rahmatabadi was arrested today… . After his arrest, the murderer confessed to his crimes and intention.”
    • “As we announced from the beginning, the motivation for the murder was personal.”
    • “Rahmatabadi’s killer had been one of his acquaintances, and the police suspected him from the beginning. After becoming certain, he was arrested.”
  • Greater Tehran Law Enforcement Force Commander Hossein Sajjedinia added that “after 48 hours of continuous work” by his detectives “the killer was arrested in eastern Tehran in his residential home.” Sajjedinia continued: “The killer and his likely associates are being looked into further.” 
  • Law Enforcement Forces Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Radan reiterated that the “recent killings are not political” and mentioned that suspects had been arrested in Zabol Attorney General Mousa Nouri Ghalehnou’s case:
    • “With the investigations taking shape by the security apparatus, it has become clear that this is not the work of Jaish al-Adl.”
    • “However, it has become clear that this event has no type of political or security aspect. On the basis of existing clues, the case for the reason of the murder remains open.”
    • “Presently, the police have good clues for the cause of the killing of Zabol’s attorney general at hand. Given this context, a few individuals have been arrested, none of whom are foreign nationals, [but rather] are Iranians.”
    • The deputy commander also emphasized that the killings of both Rahmatabadi and the member of the city management board were personally motivated and that the police were close to solving the latter.
  • Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan inspected the Ministry’s Energy Resources Expansion Organization (EREO) and emphasized the necessity to produce a “defense science and technology document” that is “proportionate with the threats of the enemies and defense equipment necessities of the armed forces.” He added that “the Defense Ministry does not seek economic competition. The strategy of this minister is the expansion of capacities proportional with needs.” Dehghan then urged EREO officials to pursue a fuel cells project and document of renewable energies at a national level. 
  • Assembly of Experts member and Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami discussed missile deterrence at the commemoration ceremony for Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam:
    • “Missile industries have strengthened our IRGC Aerospace Forces and this missile strength is due to the luminous and Ashura mind of Haj Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam [killed in 2011].”
    • Our enemies are barbaric in the exact sense of the word and we are seeing a small part of their savagery in Syria. We are facing barbaric enemies who kill Syrian warriors in front of cameras and then take their hearts to their mouths.”
    • “They only understand the language of force. Certainly if Iran’s strength was not Islamic, America would have attacked militarily many times. If there was no missile strength, per the interpretation of the Supreme Leader, its chained dog Israel would have attacked Iran.”
    • “Your two thousand kilometer missile is your enemies’ everlasting nightmare. When Agha [the Supreme Leader] stated in Mashhad [that] if the Zionist regime commits a mistake we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground, that is thanks to the measures of dear ones like Tehrani Moghaddam. The Iranian nation owes these dear ones.” 
  • Islamshahr Police corrected their report yesterday that $80 million had been seized after searching a suspicious car [see Nov. 12 INR]. The amended report said, “The items discovered in the investigation of the car include $12,500, 11.4 million rial [about $450], 2 laptops, 100 grams of gold, 4500 Iraqi dinar, and 3 suitcases of clothes. It is said that the value of the discovered items is approximately 80 million toman, which was announced in error as $80 million.” 

Nuclear Issue

  • Head of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Ali Akbar Salehi praised the recent agreement with the IAEA, discussed decision making in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and announced plans to construct a new nuclear power plant:
    • “In the process of decision making in the SNSC, matters are introduced and then debated in the nuclear committee composed of the Foreign Minister, some other ministers, the Head of the IAEO and the council Secretary. In this Secretariat, with the signature agreement, the decision to reform the first statement was taken, and after reform we signed it.”
    • “Inspection of the Arak heavy water reactor factory [and] Gachin mine; information related to the research reactors that we are to construct in the future; locations for the construction of nuclear power plants; the number of research reactors and laser enrichment were the cases introduced in the [IAEA] agreement.”
    • “We are currently negotiating with Russia and they have announced their readiness. We hope the country’s second atomic plant construction will begin in [2014-2015].” 

Economy

Photo of the Day