Iran News Round Up November 15, 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.
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi discussed nuclear negotiations and urged the West to take advantage of the opportunity:
- “Whether or not the West accepts Iran’s situation from its position, we believe that, as we have one axis and one leader, our power would be less if we were divided, had a monarchy government or a pure republic. However, we are the Islamic Republic. Our Islamism circles around the axis of the velayat and our Republicanism is with the massive presence of the people.”
- “At that time [2003 enrichment suspension] this matter was a tactic and a test. When we understood that they have other goals, this matter caused our next steps and jumps.”
- “Negotiation parties are projecting just as always, and they recently announced that the Iranian side prevented the conclusion of the nuclear negotiations. It is plain from their lies that they have acted against their previous statements and the groundwork of forbearance still exists. We expect the Westerners to use this opportunity.”
- National Strategic and Foreign Policy [NSFP] Parliamentary Commission Member Avaz Heidarpour gave a hopeful prediction for the upcoming round of negotiations and called on Iran not to judge France based on Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ statements:
- “The negotiations based on a defined framework progressed well. I think the failure that occurred will not happen in the next round, and the negotiations process will advance well … and have a successful outcome.”
- “In my opinion, the French government is completely opposed to Laurent Fabius’ speech. He is an MP of a socialist party, and that is why his speech cannot be taken as the stance of the whole French nation and government…. It has become apparent that he [spoke] as a Zionist spokesman, while the French government does not accept his positions.”
- “We must not base our relations with the French nation and government on the opinion of its foreign minister.”
- Qom Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri discussed nuclear negotiations and lessons of Ashura for confronting current superpowers:
- “At the end of the Geneva negotiations, a draft was offered by Iran, and the foreign ministers of the P5+1 countries came to sign it. Unfortunately, this draft changed and Iranian officials were not willing to sign it.”
- “The third lesson of Ashura is that the enemy’s front was vulnerable with all of its abilities. Therefore, the great ability of the superpowers must not frighten us. Imam Hossein proved that one can enter the field against the superpower of an age and emerge victorious.”
- “We seek the removal of all of the enemy's oppressive sanctions. However, a problem would not be created if the enemies did not reach an agreement, because our nation relies on God.”
- Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda praised the negotiations team and criticized the United States:
- “Thanks be to God, in the trend of negotiations our diplomats did not surrender and maintained the system’s dignity.”
- “Per the commands of the Supreme Leader, the country’s officials must utilize all diplomatic capacities to reduce sanctions. Iranian policy makers have fortunately been successful in this field. The US Secretary of State claims that Iran was not willing to sign an agreement in the Geneva negotiations, but this means that Iran will not sell its dignity to the foreigner.”
- “Our duty is not to sell our right to America’s greed or surrender against them. Just as we took this revolution to victory by adhering to the conduct of [third Shi’a] Imam Hossein, persevered against the enemy’s advanced equipment during the Eight Years of Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War], and took them to the ground, we must now annihilate them today.”
- “Arrogance [the West] is on the verge of destruction and this is because we will never give in to abjection.”
- Former President Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Khatami gave his hopes for the negotiations: “God-willing, these negotiations will end benefiting Iran and the people.”
- Vice President Mohammad Ali Najafi’s mother passed away, and the mourning ceremony was attended by a number of important officials, including: First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, IAEO Head Ali Akbar Salehi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan, Former Preisdent Mohammad Khatami, Nuclear Negotiator Majid Takht Ravanchi, Head of the Central Bank Valiollah Seif, Oil Minister Bijan Zangeh, and a number of other ministers, politicians, and advisors.
- Interior Ministry Spokesman Hossein Ali Amiri urged Parliament to address the proposal of signing a security agreement with Pakistan and said, “The expectation we have from that country is not to allow the elements of Global Arrogance [West] and international terrorists to use its soil to strike Iran.”
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham discussed a dispute with the United Arab Emirates over the three Persian Gulf islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa, claimed by both Iran and the UAE, and stated, “The three Iranian islands have been and will be connected to Iran. The historical connection of these islands to Iran is an undeniable reality.”
Military and Security
- Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan asserted that “American and Zionist regime military threats against Iran these days are a joke…. Do not take these threats too seriously.”
- Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated, “The mission of the Intelligence Minister is to confront economic corruption because this trend will encourage [economic investment].” Alavi added that the case of the slain Zabol Attorney General [see Nov. 6 INR] is still under investigation.
- Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance Ali Jannati said, “Facebook is a social network and in my opinion is not considered a criminal activity. Those who are in this network have healthy relations. I myself am present on Facebook.” He added that the Committee for Reviewing Criminal Instances will discuss the removal of filters from social media.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif talked about the potential effects of the past round of negotiations, while calling on both sides to look forward:
- “I think that no matter how hard [our] friends try, they will be unable to change the realities that have occurred during the Geneva negotiations.”
- “It is important that any type of agreement that is not to Iran’s satisfaction, does not officially recognize Iran’s national rights, or is not based on the respect of those opposite [the table], does not have a chance to succeed.”
- “The news has demonstrated what happened at the Geneva negotiations. We must not talk about the past situation, but the future.”
- Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said the “process of negotiations between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency has been very good, and there is no space for worry.” He added, “Compact, sensitive, and serious negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 were also held for three days in Switzerland. The next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is being held [Nov. 20 and 21] in Geneva.”
- Nuclear negotiations team member Majid Takht Ravanchi responded to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Iran prevented a nuclear deal: “I do not want to enter into details or a discussion in this, but it is absolutely clear which person arrived at a place that prevented a final deal from taking shape… . It was absolutely not Iran’s work.”
- Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission Vice-Chairman MP Gholam Reza Tajgardoun stated, “Increasing the bond interest rate is an appropriate solution to secure liquidity for civil projects without increasing inflation in the market.”
- Iran is in negotiations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia to export electricity to Europe. Energy Minister Hamid Chit Chian commented, “One of Iran’s macro-policies is to transform into the electricity hub of the Middle East.”
Photo of the Day
- Fifth night of Muharram mourning ceremony in Tehran, attended by Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Rouhani, and other senior officials.