Iran News Round Up October 29, 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.
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member IRGC Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Mohammad Saleh Jokar reacted to US phone tapping in EU countries and said, “Can [one] trust America with these plans, measures and spying? America was and will be untrustworthy to us…. It is day dreaming if we think having relations with America is in our interest.”
- Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council and former IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaei talked about the death to America slogan:
- “As it has several times before, the nation of Iran is testing the American government. I hope that the Americans do not reject this test like they have in the past, but [instead] show that they have changed.”
- “The key to eliminating the death to America slogan is in the Americans’ own hands. In order for the chant to be eliminated, they must do some work themselves, pay attention to several topics, respect the basic rights of the nation of Iran, and remove their hand from sabotage.”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani said, “Islamic society has no meaning without the velayat-e faghih. The Shi’a doctrine that was given life with Imam Khomeini's movement after many years has now been passed on to the honorable son of Shi’a doctrine, the Supreme Leader.”
- MP representing Zanjan Mohammad Esmaili urged the Pakistani government “to hand over the terrorists [responsible for the Saravan LEF border post attack] to Iran and act upon its duty as an Islamic and neighboring country.”
- Principlist MP and father-in-law to Supreme Leader Khamenei's son, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, defended theocracy and said, “The reason for colonialism’s success in the historical past and its lack of success in Iran today is the existence of religious government.”
- NSFP member MP Fatemeh Alia warned President Hassan Rouhani against political extremism and urged him to “please describe the ‘moderation’ phrase so it does not lead to the same fate as the ‘reformation’ phrase…. Please do not tell existing funds to the foreigner, if only half of women in society put their gold reserves at the feet of the Supreme Leader, we can buy American banks with them. According to the Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission Chairman, the government has provided you with enough money and you have a large reserve in the banks; therefore, remain calm.”
- 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 announced details of extensive plans to commemorate the event and to encourage student participation, including “the placement of ‘Down with America’ painting stations for students at demonstration paths across the country; university student press conference with the attendance of representatives from university student organizations at the former American embassy, and; special popular, high school and university student meetings with the Supreme Leader.”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- The Pakistani Charges d’Affaires in Iran, Soheil Sadeghi, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the Saravan LEF border post attack. Sadeghi reportedly responded that “securing this long border is difficult and the Pakistani government cannot completely supervise these border lines.” He added that “if it is proven that the terrorists are on Pakistani soil, the government in Islamabad will transfer these criminals to the Iranian government on the basis of the extradition treaty that was signed in the 50’s between the two countries.”
- In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Iran urged “an immediate and appropriate” UN response to the Saravan attack carried out by Islamist Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl from Pakistani to show that such “criminal acts will not be tolerated anywhere or at any time.”
- NSFP Vice-Chairman and former IRGC Quds Force officer MP Mansour Haghighat Pour condemned the Saravan attack and said, “If the Pakistani government does not provide an appropriate and convincing answer, our security forces have the right to pursue these bandits into the depths of Pakistan and to punish them.”
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham talked about the Deputy Interior Minister’s visit to Pakistan to follow up on the events of Saravan and about Iran’s red lines in negotiations:
- “In negotiations with our ambassador, Pakistani officials condemned the [Saravan attack].”
- “The Deputy Interior Minister quickly traveled to Pakistan to follow up on this issue. We are requesting the identities of the terrorists. The Pakistani government is identifying these terrorists, and under the extradition treaty, in the case extradition is possible, it will transfer them to Iran.”
- “Iran’s red lines in the P5+1 negotiations have not been presented, and conversations in this regard have not taken shape.”
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan thanked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu for his message of congratulations after Dehghan’s appointment. In the letter, Minister Dehghan emphasized Russia’s “special place” in Iranian foreign policy and the necessity to expand defense cooperation between the two countries.
- Unofficial state media organ Fars News Agency opened an office in Kabul today. The ceremony was attended by a number of notable figures including Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Mohammad Reza Bahrami and a number of Afghani MPs.
- Fars News Managing Director Seyyed Nezameddin Mousavi made the opening speech, thanking the Afghani government for the opportunity to operate in the country, and mentioning that the agency will “reflect on the interesting matters, progress, and reconstruction taking place in Afghanistan.”
- Deputy Ambassador to Kabul Mohammad Reza Hajizadeh also spoke, noting his hope that, “With its news activities, Fars will strive toward expanding relations between the countries.”
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani discussed the historical richness of Iran-China relations and Iran’s role as a reliable and “like-minded partner” for Beijing’s future growth during a visit to the Beijing International Studies University:
- “In recent decades, China has moved with an admirable economic growth and has been able to emerge in the international scene with its independent foreign policy. It needs stable oil and gas energy for its future growth and also like-minded friends in foreign policy to create a role in Asia.”
- “Iran has been one of the effective pillars in securing these two desires and it is possible that some countries may temporarily secure China’s needs in the energy field, but [those countries'] histories and their current political transformations do not show a stable trajectory for them. However, Iran has demonstrated that it is stable in its policies and is not affected by the political winds.”
- NSFP member Mehdi Davatgari gave information about the expulsion of a Saudi Arabian diplomat from Iran. The diplomat was expelled killing an Iranian national while driving drunk.
Military and Security
- Senior Military Adviser to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi discussed passive defense and future threats at the sixth Iranian Geopolitics Association Congress:
- “At the present moment, threats have expanded from the military to other arenas and threats are forming with a new form and different shape. These threats are moving from the military arena to economic, cyber, cultural and soft war arenas.”
- “Passive defense must seek to observe and monitor threats, identify their types, and take the necessary measures to confront threats with a preventive look before the country faces this threat, causing internal effects.” http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920807000278
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan discussed recent meetings with foreign military delegations, future satellite launches, the Iran-Russia S-300 anti-aircraft missile agreement, and naval defense at the 15th Naval Industry Conference, which President Rouhani attended:
- “In these meetings, we pursued the expansion and activation of Iran’s military and defense diplomacy, the goal of which is creating stability and security in the region. We gave them the message that Iran is not a threat to regional countries, that spreading anti-Iranian thought is not beneficial and that it is foreigners who can create instability in the region. This diplomacy aids in alleviating misunderstandings or suspicions between Iran and other countries and causes the creation of increased trust between the sides.”
- “At the present moment, we have an acceptable capabilities in constructing transports and managing and launching satellites…. We are prepared for the next satellite launch, which will be executed at an appropriate time.”
- “Russia must act upon its obligations regarding the S-300 agreement and the recommendations of America and its allies must not prevent the implementation of this agreement, especially since it was signed before the issuing of [UN] Security Council resolutions [which Moscow cites as the reason it has not executed this agreement].”
- “To the degree that we invest in coastal regions and naval manufacturing, we can raise national security to the same degree.”
- “If we want to consider enjoying the security of oil resources, we must be sufficiently powerful in naval fields in order to achieve a level of deterrence against the enemy.”
- “The best naval missile systems and most advanced submarines have been constructed for defense of our borders, and for protection, stability, and peace in the region,.”
- “The countries surrounding us do not dare attack our borders, and even American cannot militarily attack our country on the ground.”
- Head of the Armed Forces General Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi criticized statements made by several US officials, saying they were made with the “logic of the era of slavery”:
- “The logic of John Kerry, US Secretary of State, is the logic of the era of slavery. He says that we must undertake anything for American interests.”
- “Are the American people your slaves such that you can spy on them in different ways? Are the people of France and Germany your slaves, such that you allow the officials and people of France and Germany to be spied on?”
- “What happened in Syria showed that some of your calculations are not correct and are stricken with egregious errors. Therefore, returning to the logic of freedom and equality and moving in the framework of international law is the correct path that you must choose.”
- “Today, the curtain of the American government’s hegemony and arrogance has been moved to the side, its movements and speech exposed, and public opinion of the world awakened.”
- The first Intelligence Coordination Council meeting of the Rouhani Administration took place earlier today. The council is composed of Intelligence Ministry and armed forces intelligence officials and is chaired by Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi. Mr. Alavi emphasized proportionate responses to intelligence events and said, “To confront intelligence events, novel and different methods than in the past must be used. To this end, codifying a comprehensive long-term document for the intelligence community with attention to new circumstances and transformations is necessary.”
- In an interview with the IRGC’s weekly newspaper Sobh-e Sadegh, Sadegh Sadegh Daghighi, who directed the Iran-Iraq War era film, “The Small Big Man” in his debut, lamented the lack of officials’ support for Iran-Iraq War era movies and said that IRGC and Basiji support can proliferate “value movies” within Iranian cinema with their support.
- A source close to the Iranian negotiations team in Vienna announced that Iran and the IAEA have agreed to a new set of proposals at the end of their two day session “whose most important achievement is that Iran’s new proposal text was agreed upon and will replace the ten previous negotiations and frameworks.” The next round of Iran-IAEA negotiations will take place in Tehran on November 11 and will encompass technical and legal negotiations.
- Economic and Monetary Affairs Minister Ali Tayeb Nia was summoned to the Economic Parliamentary Commission to answer questions regarding statements by the Head of the Central Bank that halted the appreciation of the rial vis-a-vis the US dollar at 3,000 tomans. Tayeb Nia said, “We agreed in the administration to talk less,” and added, “I do not agree to the further decrease of the exchange rate. We must control inflation so the national monetary value is preserve. I agree to dollar pricing at 2,500-2,600 tomans so that a groundwork for a single-exchange rate is created for society. But I do not agree that the dollar price should decrease further than this.”
- Head of the Review in Iranian Oil Agreements Committee and Adviser to the Oil Minister Mehdi Hosseini announced that, in order to attract $100 billion foreign direct investment within the next three years, Iran is reviewing its policies regarding buy back agreements to allow increased partnership or shareholding in Iranian oil projects to multinational oil companies, which is currently prohibited. The Oil Ministry will present its new policies March 2014 in London to European and American oil companies. Hosseini expects foreign oil companies to invest in Iran.
- Parliamentary Energy Commission Chairman MP Massoud Mir Kazemi said that MPs are reviewing violations in oil agreements with Crescent, Total and Stat Oil companies under current Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh’s tenure during the Rafsanjani administration and will then send the case to the Judiciary branch.
- Officials provided further details about changes to the 2013-2014 budget:
- Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission member Gholam Reza Jafarzadeh stated, “Due to lack of revenue, we were forced to go to the National Expansion Fund to finish civil projects that have stalled.”
- Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht agreed to this proposal and said, “The proposed plan consists of two parts: One part is depositing expansion funds in banks and utilizing facilities on which we agree, but the second part is using revenues for advanced payment to finance.”
- Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission Chairman MP Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Reza Mesbahi: “In the planning law, it is permitted for the National Expansion fund to deposit outside of the country, which due to sanctions circumstances. We sanctioned ourselves in a sense and with this new proposal it is permitted for the National Expansion Fund to deposit in domestic banks.”
Photo of the Day
- ISNA photo essay: Visit to Dar ul-Fonoun.