Iran News Round Up November 8, 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.
- Deputy Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy [NSFP] Parliamentary Commission Mansour Haghighatpour blamed the US and Israel for the assassination of Zabol’s Attorney General Mousa Nouri Ghalenou. [see Nov. 6 INR]
- “The assassination of Zabol’s attorney general is demonic, and America and Israel are certainly behind the scenes of it.”
- “We know that America and Israel are certainly behind this diabolical [act]. Of course the people on 13 Aban [the anniversary of the US hostage crisis on Monday, Nov. 4] showed their own stances towards America and Israel.”
- Member of the Expediency Discernment Council Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri expressed support for the Supreme Leader’s recent speech, in which he called upon all sides to support the Iranian negotiations team, and gave a reason for its timing:
- “It is my analysis that the Supreme Leader defended the negotiations team on the eve of Muharram so that during these mourning ceremonies a number [of people] do not become hotter than soup [do not let their blood boil].”
- “The government has a need to protect, and these foreign policy soldiers need the encouragement of the people to advance their work.”
- “Imam Bagher [fifth Shi’a Imam] says that Shi'as must be moderate and not be radical or over-reactionary.
- Head of the Parliamentary Research Center Kazem Jalali expressed his hope that negotiations could lead to confidence building measures and show that Israel was not controlling Western policy:
- “We think whatever is currently proposed to the West is an opportunity, and we hope that Westerners do not get greedy in these negotiations. There is a high wall of mistrust in Iran’s public perception towards the West, and the result of these negotiations can change [that] to a type of trust.”
- “We think that the negotiations process can progress to the level of confidence building. This confidence building is completely dependent on the conduct of the West.”
- “Western countries must show their complete independence from the destructive policies of the Zionist regime. We hope that Western countries show that Tel Aviv is not their center of political decision-making and that the Zionist regime cannot control the will of the Western negotiators.”
- Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy [NSFP] Parliamentary Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi argued that the success of negotiations thus far warrants some sanctions relief, and that “Netenyahu’s desperate efforts against Iran will not end up anywhere.”
- “The significant results of the first round of negotiations between the P5+1, the positive [results] of the second round and the primary agreements are a sign that the context exists for beginning some type of agreement based on the nation’s interests and a process of decreasing sanctions.”
- “Given the disturbed position of the Western economy and its damage before sanctions on Iran, as well as the ineffectiveness of sanctions on our nuclear activities, it seems that the conditions have been created for them to reach the conclusion that an agreement is more beneficial than confrontational policies towards Iran.”
- NSFP member Brig. Gen. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari spoke at a commemoration ceremony attended by veterans and the families of the martyrs of the Valefjar 4 operations.
- “Imam Khomeini by relying on god and without a weapon started his movement and the martyrs answered his [call] by defending their homeland. For this reason, no weapon was able to [effectively] fight against our soldiers.”
- “The soldiers and martyrs never sought [self-interest], they rushed to the frontlines with devotion.”
- “It is the duty of the people to continue in the path of the martyrs, because promoting the pure Mohammadian values of Islam is the goal of the regime.”
Diplomacy and Regional Events
- Head of media affairs for Iran’s embassy in Azerbaijan, Mohammad Ayatollahi, confirmed that several border crossings between Iran and Azerbaijan have been closed.
- “In response to the non-standard actions by the border guards of Azerbaijan in closing the Paldasht-Shah Takhti border and the lack of success in trying to open this border for two days, as of yesterday afternoon,n the borders at Bilehsavar and Jalafa are closed.”
- “Azerbaijan has used the excuse of the shooting of an unknown individual on a tractor in the Paldasht region for its non-standard actions in closing the Paldasht-Shah Takhti border on Wednesday, which has caused many serious issues for Iranian drivers and travelers.”
- “Despite the desire of Iranian border guards, the Azeri side has avoided negotiations.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah wrote a condolence letter on the passing of Habibollah Asgaroladi, praising him for his services to Lebanon during the “difficult days of sanctions, boycott, and wars in 1986” and calling him a “great man.”
- Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani said that during the storming of the US embassy on 13 Aban “the nation of Iran showed its growth, and it is now still showing it. The subject of ‘Down with America’ is presented continuously, and must stay so.”
Military and Security
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian condemned recent “terrorist attacks” on the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine in Damascus:
- “The defenders of terrorists and takfiris in Syria are liable for the attacks on the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine.”
- “Armed takfiri groups in Syria have reached the final line…. People who have targeted the Seyyeda Zeinab shrine are involved in the Zionists’ and regional enemies’ plans and are the primary obstacle to a political solution in Syria.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Industrial Preparation, Support and Research Deputy Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hejazi spoke to reporters at Habibollah Asgaroladi’s funeral yesterday, calling the recently deceased politician “a very great man,” as well as a “modest, devout individual whose entire being was for Islam.” Hejazi added on P5+1 negotiations, “I hope that these negotiations are good and expedient for the system.”
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs and senior member of the nuclear negotiations team Abbas Eraghchi said that Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif met with EU head of foreign affairs Catherine Ashton, adding, “This meeting lasted for an hour and they talked about continuing specialist negotiations and arriving at an agreement on a final text.”
- “Given the sensitivity of the negotiations, Ashton asked Zarif about holding a trilateral meeting for a joint agreement with US Secretary of State John Kerry to talk about the material remaining for an agreement text.”
- “As of now, there are no plans for a bilateral meeting with America nor are they on our agenda. Kerry has traveled to Geneva at the request of Ms. Ashton.”
- “A joint text as stated includes three stages (shared goals, first step, and final step) and is in the state of being negotiated. The framework of this text is the same framework in the Iranian proposal that was presented at Geneva 1. During [Geneva 2] we are also discussing this proposal and it is on this basis that we have achieved results.”
- “Negotiations continue at different stages, including the lifting of sanctions and discussions connected to confidence building, which have many details. Specialists from the Vienna meeting are still looking at these.”
- “Enrichment is our fundamental and right, but we can negotiate to what degree, dimension, and other things.”
- According to another source close to the Iranian negotiations team, Zarif is likely to meet bilaterally with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva today.
Photo of the Day
- Taziyeh at the Khavaran Cultural Complex, Tehran.