Iran News Round Up October 22, 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 contributor John Lesnewich. 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.
- Several MPs criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s recent statements in which he said that the country’s treasury is empty. MP Abdolvahid Fiazi said, “Mr. Rouhani’s statements are contrary to the statements of the Economy Minister. We ask the administration to convey the reality of the matter to the people.”
- Justice Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour Mohammadi stated, “[The slogan of] ‘Death to America’ is not one of the necessities of our country, but our country is an anti-Arrogant [anti-Western] country. If there is a need, we will negotiate, and if it is necessary to agree with the enemy we will even do so. This is because it is no problem for us to agree with the enemy for our interests, but we must know that he is the enemy.”
- Earlier this week, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini’s granddaughter, Zahra Eshraghi, told Sharq Parsi website that she sought to be a “taboo breaker” in the matter of hejab because she “always opposed the way ladies whom are active in the government dressed and [does] not agree with it at all.” She added, “If they want to introduce Islam, they can do this with better clothing and hejab.” Representative of the Supreme Leader to Greater Tehran IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Abdolali Govahi subsequently criticized her, and said, “You are damned wrong. Who are you to do such a thing? If we do not say anything it is due to the dignity of Imam [Khomeini] and the Imam’s family.”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi addressed Qom province IRGC commanders, directors and exemplary soldiers, and stated, “Those who strive in the path of preserving the Islamic system and also those activities that take place to praise exemplary soldiers and train them are divine reserves, which are considered a form of prayer…”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- Iran and Great Britain are to introduce their respective non-permanent Charge d’affaires within the next eight days. Both sides say this is a precursor to officially reopening embassies following the 2011 attack on the British embassy in Iran, which led to the cessation of diplomatic relations. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Maziyeh Afkham also announced that Oman will become Iran’s Interest Section Holder in Canada and Italy is to become Canada’s Interest Section Holder in Iran.
- International Affairs Adviser to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, Hossein Sheikholeslam, announced that two French Senate representatives will travel to Tehran tomorrow to meet with their Iranian counterparts, including National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi.
- An op-ed on the website of Ahlul Bayt News Agency discussed recent developments between Iran and Hamas. It reads in part, “It seems that, although some reports indicate the reduction of Iranian monetary support of Hamas [members] outside of Gaza, current Iranian policy regarding Hamas’s position towards the Syrian crisis is on the correct path, because it neither confirms Hamas’s positions nor eliminates the possibility of its return to Iran. Iran is the leader of the Resistance current in the region and its position regarding the mistakes of the members of this current cannot be insular and be like what some Iranian media want.”
Military and Security
- Head of the Passive Defense Organization and Operational Base Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali announced the preparedness of the base's cyber team to confront threats in various sectors such as oil, financial and media; the establishment of Passive Cyber Defense Centers in various provinces, including one at the Natanz nuclear site; and efforts to establish an Economic Base.
- Regarding nuclear preparedness: “We have twelve nuclear provinces…. The people must have the necessary preparedness and training in nuclear matter because, in any case, Iran is a nuclear country.”
- “With the cyber activities we have conducted in the nuclear sector, the enemy has concluded that we can manage their threats. This while Obama thought that he could eliminate all of our nuclear installations during an operation codenamed ‘Olympics,’ in which he was unsuccessful.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Deputy for Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri attended the “Soft War Specialists Conference” held at the IRGC’s Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada operational base in Orumieh, West Azerbaijan, during which he discussed establishing soft war bases as well as ongoing nuclear negotiations
- On nuclear talks: “Arrogance [the West] is wrong in imagining that Iranian diplomats will back down against their inhumane pressures…. The Iranian people will evaluate the performance of their representative and the opposing side with open eyes.”
- On soft war: “Without a doubt, the media are on the frontlines of the soft war and the severe media invasions of the enemy…. The soft war is one of the most important issues of our country today and certainly we must come to know its various aspects….”
- “Just as during the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] we were able to dominate the enemy with the backing of the people, in the soft war we must also enter this critical campaign [all together] as a people.”
- “Based on the Armed Forces General Staff’s programs and following sufficient studies of the environment of the future, the soft war headquarters [in the AFGS] was established for confronting the enemy, and now preparations are underway for its formation and we are prepared to expand this base throughout the country in fields of management. We believe there should be committees of soft war specialists formed in every [state] institution.”
- “Soft war bases will be established throughout the country with the goal of intelligently confronting the enemy, and as such, we require the cooperation of the Supreme National Security Council, Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council, and all the national institutions.”
- “It is expected that the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, as the trustee of the nation’s media, will establish the defensive frontline with the soft war, and at the same time, the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council Secretariat, as the most fundamental cultural base of the country, must have the necessary planning for this, and the Armed Forces General Staff will strive to create an [official] understanding.”
- In a joint statement, 264 MPs supported the efforts of the IRGC on the country’s western borders.
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi announced that Iran and the P5+1 would hold three meetings at the specialist level next week. Director of Foreign Ministry Political and International Affairs Hamid Baidinejad will lead next week’s delegation alongside five nuclear, economic, legal and technical experts and will report the results to the Iranian and P5+1 negotiating delegations.
- Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati expresssed support for the efforts of the nuclear negotiations team and said that “maintaining the country’s nuclear rights and lifting economic sanctions” should be at the top of the team’s agenda.
- Importers are voicing their complaints regarding the sudden spike in shipping rates, to which Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Managing Director Mohammad Hossein Dajer said, “The status of taxes for the Yuan in China caused the emergence of problems for goods owners and this matter is not related to shipping.”
Photo of the Day
- Venezuela and Bolivia ambassadors attend Venezuela culture night in Tehran.