Iran News Round Up November 7, 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

  • President Hassan Rouhani met with families who lost several children to the Iran-Iraq War and said, “If today the opportunity to serve the nation has been presented to us, it was self-sacrificers, casualties, and martyrs who created its ground work. The administration certainly needs the prayer, support and opinion of all people in executing its plan, especially the families of martyrs, self-sacrificers and casualties.” 
  • Parliamentary Social Commission member MP Shahrouz Afkhami announced, “65,000 of the children of martyrs, casualties, and self-sacrificers lack an occupation and officials must take the necessary measures in this regard.” 
  • Ahlul Bayt World Assembly Secretary Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari addressed the “UlamaMuharram and Propaganda” conference in Tehran and said, “Sunni Ulama in Saudi Arabia do not even currently have the freedom that they do in Iran. In our country, in the shadow of the Islamic Republic's security and freedom, there are 400 Sunni religious seminaries, which is more than Shi'a religious seminaries in comparison to before.” 
  • Shiraz MP Ahmad Reza Dastgheib claimed that the US would not be able to pressure Iran through its sanctions and that Iran has “tried to create the necessary transparency to remove worries about its nuclear technology,” but continued: “We have announced many times that we have a pessimistic view of Western countries’ policies, especially America’s. It would be good for the Americans to show good intentions for once in the international arena and make an effort to compensate for their past in order to get the desired result from this round of negotiations.” 
  • Minister of Intelligence Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi spoke at a ceremony appointing Mr. Sader Director of Intelligence of Western Azerbaijan, replacing Mr. Hashemi:
    • “The intelligence apparatus is the eye and light of the Iranian regime.”
    • “We must move within the framework of morals, law, and shari’a because we are Muslims and cannot operate outside of the commands of the Prophet.”
    • “In encounters with the enemy we must conduct ourselves rationally and design the path of current negotiations, such that Iran uses international law in order to prove to public opinion of the world, in the case that [negotiations] do not succeed, that the power and will of a bully did not push this regime away from defending its legally stipulated rights.”
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham rejected claims that Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif had participated in an interview with “a Zionist regime newspaper,” referring to rumors that Hebrew-language paper Maariv asked the minister about Iran-Israeli relations. Afkham responded “Due to desperation and to get out of the Zionist regime’s isolation, this paper published false news in a vain attempt to create negative space during the new round of negotiations.” 

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

 
  • Iranian media reports, citing an Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq media outlet, that an Iraqi special terrorism task force, under the direct supervision of President Nouri al-Maliki, has reportedly arrested thirty-five officials in the Iraqi Interior Ministry for conspiring to organize a coup d'etat. The arrested individuals reportedly have ties to the al-Udeh party that seeks to reestablish the Baath party in the country.  
  • Deputy Minister of Legal and International Affairs Abbas Eraghchi announced that “the foreign minister’s [Mohammad Javad Zarif] trip to Italy has been canceled due to the importance of the P5+1 negotiations.” 
  • Zarif met with Special Representative to the Secretary General of the UN Lakhdar Brahimi today. Deputy Minister of European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi will meet with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.  
  • Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi met with Lebansese Deputy Speaker of Parliament Abdolamir Ghablan. Ghablan expressed his hopes for a positive resolution of negotiations between Iran and the US because “American hostility is not in the interest of America or regional countries.”  Roknabadi added, “Syrian developments have adopted a process of political resolution, and we hope to see positive effects of this process in Lebanon.”
  • Iranian Ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani discussed the kidnapping of two Iranian’s 22 months ago by “terrorists”:
    • “The al-Farouk terrorist group is responsible for the kidnapping of Pejman Boyeri, Hassan Hosni, and five accompanying engineers. The five engineers were released after extensive consultations; however, we have yet to hear from the other two.”
    • “The killing of the terrorist group Al-Farouk’s leader has caused internal rifts, which have resulted in failed attempts to have the hostages released.”

Military and Security

  • Presidential Ethnicity and Minority Affairs Adviser Ali Younesi spoke to reporters at Habibollah Asgaroladi’s funeral and blamed al-Qaeda affiliates for Zabol Attorney General Mousa Nouri Ghalehnou’s assassination [see Nov. 6 INR]:
    • “These assassinations are a continuation of terrorist operations by al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi groups that are protected by the enemies of Iran.”
    • “More than anything, we must partner with religious minorities, especially Sunnis, in all local and national decisions.”
    • “All security forces are united and cooperative, put their differences to the side, and fight terrorist groups with complete coordination.”
    • “Our security forces are able to neutralize these terrorist actions with precise information. The nation of Iran will not witness another occurrence of these terroristic events.”
  • Deputy Governor of Sistan va Balouchestan for political and security affairs Rajab Ali Sheikh Zadeh dismissed claimed that Ghalehnou’s assassination was committed by the same terrorist group that killed Iranian border guards on October 25, though Jaish al-Adl has claimed responsibility for this attack. 
    • Zabol MP Seyyed Bagher Hosseini said, however, that the attacks may be linked: “Given the close timing of these assassinations in relation to the recent executions in Saravan, it is possible to form the impression this terror attack is related to the [Saravan] issue.”
  • IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami discussed the message of Ashura and Iran’s power, and expressed support for the nuclear negotiations team while addressing 40 Basij Beit al-Moghaddas battalions in Ghazvin:
    • “The message of Ashura is that there is no way to retreat from the enemy's oppression, no matter how powerful, and that [we] must not bow down to Arrogance [the West], no matter how strong or powerful it is.”
    • “If the group of righteousness, no matter how few, stands against the grand army of the infidels and does not leave the scene of righteousness, it means it has answered the message of Ashura.”
    • “With the light of Iran's Islamic Revolution, American policies in Iran have been deflected and the country of Iran has been able to transform to the peak of sublime humanity and spirituality whose example is the pure blood of thousands of florid buried martyrs.”
    • “But the story of fighting with Arrogance has not ended this revolution. Today, with the passing of decades after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Arrogance is determined to inflict damage with any tools against the holy system of Iran.”
    • “The equations of the world of Islam show that the chapter of the foreigners' meddling in the world has ended.”
    • “During the Eight Year War [Iran-Iraq War], the enemies, with America's management, Europe's weapons support and also the economic support of some Arab countries, had no result other than surrendering against the Iranian nation's will.”
    • “Economic sanctions have also been implemented to weaken the will of the Iranian nation, but they will have no results other than self-sufficiency and the country's economic vitality.”
    • “Today, the resolution of any issue in Western Asia or the world of Islam is not possible without the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This matter has also been accepted by these leaders.”
    • “Today, the formation of the Arrogance front has taken shape against our leaders in Geneva. With strength and with the support of the Supreme Leader and the people, our officials defend the Iranian people's rightful rights against the coalition of powers so that this matter will have the same result as Ashura.”
    • “Modern history is full of the defeat of countries who retreated against Arrogance and nothing other than backwardness and misery resulted for them.”
    • “With perseverance, we have resisted against the enemies and have become victorious. The Iranian nation, with the strong historical memory that it has, will not forget the domination of the arrogant English and Americans of this country.” 

Nuclear Issue

  • Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Ali Eraghchi discussed negotiations in a press conference:
    • “Our goal is to reach a single agreement.... It is too soon to judge whether we will achieve a document of agreement in this round of negotiations or reach this agreement in future meetings.”
    • “We agreed to enter substance within the next forty-eight hours to have certain progress regarding details and just like this regarding the first step and the measures of both sides.”
    • “It is planned for both sides to take the first step simultaneously. Agreement has formed regarding the totality and its framework.”
    • “The differences between the two sides are great and making views closer to each other is difficult.”
    • “The (specialist) Vienna [IAEA] negotiations helped today's negotiations to advance.”
    • Enrichment is our red line and the principle of enrichment is very important to us.” 
  • After meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed satisfaction with the meeting and said, “If the two sides are serious in nuclear negotiations, we will reach a result.” 
  • Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi spoke to reporters at Habibollah Asgaroladi’s funeral, commending his efforts for the Revolution, and said that Iran is considering building more nuclear power plants.
    • “We are considering building new power plants. Each of these power plants requires more than 1500 engineers, so in the not-too-distant future, we hope to have the need for a great deal of human forces.”

Economy

Photo of the Day

  • Senior officials attend the funeral of Habibollah Asgaroladi.