Iran News Round Up October 23, 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.
- Armed Forces General Staff Khatam ol-Anbia Central Passive Defense Base Inspection Deputy Brig. Gen. Mohammad Jafar Assadi addressed a memorial ceremony in Zahedan, Sistan va Baluchestan for the “Unity Martyrs” [IRGC members killed in the 2009 Zahedan bombing]. During his speech, Assadi discussed the “Down with America” slogan and obedience to the Supreme Leader:
- “Today, the only way for the great and revolutionary Islamic Iran to move on the path of Islamic values and the failure of arrogant superpowers is absolute obedience to the velayat-e faghih.”
- “So long as the brave and proud nation of Iran has life in its body it will never forget the slogan ‘Down with America’ and will shout it.”
- “Individuals that try to eliminate the slogan ‘Down with America,’ in reality, their efforts are to allow Satan into their hearts.”
- “The pouring forth of this slogan by the Iranian people constitutes [stating the Qur’anic passage] ‘I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed.’ As his Excellency Imam Khomeini said, ‘America is the Great Satan.’”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi talked about the two Iranian views towards solving the issues of the nation, as well as Iran’s relations with America:
- “When the Supreme Leader presented ‘heroic flexibility,’ two points of view were created in society. Some look to solve problems with a view to the outside, and some others believe that problems must be resolved internally.”
- On the former group: “These people say that the major problems of the country are dependent on sanctions, and while the sanctions issue is not solved, other problems will not be resolved.”
- “Some believe that problems must be solved with an internal look, and the reason for this is they know Iran’s influence. They say that our influence is the cause of the shrinking of the enemy which is due to our resistance. If our resistance is compromised, our influence is also lessened.”
- “Our issue with America is not only the nuclear issue. There is a spectrum of issues which neither us nor the Americans can simply lessen, meaning we are in a state of purgatory.”
- Earlier today, Parliament debated and passed the reformed version of the 2013-2014 budget. Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht praised Parliament:
- “Currently, we are reviewing the matter of increasing energy transportation prices.”
- “This reformation of the budget law demonstrates this situation [that debts are high and the treasury is empty].”
- Nobakht added that the budget forecast decreased by 30% to 150,000 billion tomans [approximately $43 billion.]
- Head of the Holding the 13th Aban [November 4; anniversary of US-Iran hostage crisis] Ceremony Central Headquarters and Islamic Propaganda Coordination Council Vice-Chairman Asqar Ab Khazar said, “Following the shameless and clear insults by the US Undersecretary of State [for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman], we will answer her outrageous statements and insults to the great Iranian nation on the 13th of Aban.”
- The first Down with the USA Great Awards Festival will be held this year. Participants can send various works on the topic and the first place winners will receive 100,000,000 rials [approximately $3000]. Winners will be announced on December 7, 2013. The event is sponsored by Owj Media Art Organization, Tasnim News Agency, Cyber Hezbollah, Nasr TV Channel, Basharat Organization and Saraj Cyberspace Organization. The website for the event can be found at www.dw-usa.com.
- The report also stated that the Eleventh Cyber Hezbollah gathering will be held on November 6, 2013, focusing on cyber activities. The event will include a keynote speech by Head of the IRGC Center for Strategic Doctrine Dr. Hassan Abbasi.
- Fars News Agency Managing Director Nezameddin Mousavi said that the media are the “front line and first trench in the soft war.” He added, “Media belonging to the Islamic Revolution’s front must form according to these circumstances. Thanks to God, we are observing that the revolutionary forces who have entered into various environments, including the media environment, have performed well. Although in the cyber environment we are far from the desired end state, revolutionary forces have in reality performed well in this scene.”
- Assembly of Experts and Guardian Council member Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami strongly criticized the US and the West for their actions against Iran and Islam and emphasized his lack of trust in the negotiations: “To the degree that we have confidence in our government, we have that much pessimism towards Western governments and the Six Powers [P5+1]… With one look we realize that the Six Powers have a problem with Islam, not with a nuclear Iran.”
- Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi gave a lecture in his mosque in Qom in which he called for unity within the country and support of the government:
- “Criticism must be constructive and logical during the current conditions in which the government is busy with sensitive and important negotiations. Some things are still unclear; weakening the government is neither constructive nor correct.”
- “The government is busy negotiating and bargaining with the Western sides. During these conditions, all officials and people of the country must be united, of one heart, and of one voice, and not be in disagreement with the peace of the country and system.”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- Ahlul Bayt News Agency’s site published an article claiming that the Iranian national arrested in Israel last month for spying, Ali Mansouri, has been a member of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) for at least thirty years and has also worked for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
- In today’s open session of Parliament, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani criticized recent reports that Iran must accept conditions to join the Geneva 2 conference on Syria and said, “With what logic do American officials permit themselves that someone cannot be a candidate in Syria’s future election [referring to Bashar Assad]? This act is very outrageous. You have said that Mr. Bashar Assad has no popular base and ‘we want to create democracy there.’ Then why are you afraid of his candidacy?”
- Head of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with a delegation from the European Parliament and spoke about the ongoing negotiations and Iran’s expectations from these countries:
- “The West must prove its intentions to cooperate with Iran.”
- Asked about the sanctions, Rafsanjani responded: “Truly it is not clear what the West wants from Iran when it clashes with it in this way.”
- “We expect European countries to emphasize wise methods during the negotiations, not unwise measures like sanctions and threats.”
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and North Africa Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, “Agreement in the framework of national dialogue ... and the opinion of the Syrian people will be the most determinant factor in the political resolution of the matter…. None of the effective parties or the government in the Syria can be eliminated.”
Military and Security
- Artesh Ground Forces Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heidari stated, “If the Iranian system shrines brightly in today’s dark world and possesses praiseworthy strength, it is due to the blessing of the velayat and the Supreme Leader.”
- Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdestan spoke at a ceremony introducing Col. Sasan Moumani as the new commander of the 71st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, replacing Ali Jalilian Pour. Pourdestan said “The strength, zeal, and courage of Iran’s armed forces are the cause of the enemy’s failure to achieve its goals.”
- Op-ed in unofficial Supreme Leader organ Kayhan urged the Iranian nuclear team to boycott future negotiations if US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is present, following her recent statements that “deception is part of Iranians’ DNA.”
- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran would be constructing new power plants on the shores of the Persian Gulf because it is “in the national interest and benefit of the country”:
- “We will have a meeting within the coming week or two with the [IAEA] and we hope to set out a framework of action during this meeting.... We announced that our production of UO2 from UF6 is underway, and we hope that within two to three months this will be completed and we can complete the process of producing fuel for the Bushehr power plant.”
- “We have decided that priority [for reactors] is on the shores of the Persian Gulf because we want to desalinate water for the water security necessary in the southern provinces.”
- “We are hopeful for the negotiations and, God-willing, there will be internal solidarity towards advancing this matter.”
- Iran has reportedly become self-sufficient in producing MS medication.
Photo of the Day
- A young cleric in Qom during a ceremony awarding foreign seminary students their turbans.