Iran News Round Up September 13, 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. 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.
- New trustee of Jamkaran mosque, which some believe was constructed per the orders of the 12th Shi’a Hidden Imam Mahdi, Mohammad Hossein Rahimian, stated, “Even when the Supreme Leader does not express his opinions, we must act based on his intent. Velayat obedience must be in such a form that anything the Supreme Leader says is obeyed.”
- Former President Mohammad Khatami urged President Hassan Rouhani to “insist on the approaches that the people elected him for." He added, "The majority of the people reject extremism and seek change within the system, not a change of the system.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader and Iranian Hajj Pilgrims Supervisor Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Ghazi Asgar stated, “Those who embark on the Hajj must be careful to show the unity of the Islamic ummah ... and avoid exacerbating Shi’a and Sunni divisions.”
- President Hassan Rouhani addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and discussed the nuclear program, Syria and regional issues:
- “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation necessary for international peace and stability. It is faithful to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty based on legal obligations, religious and ethical teachings and strategic considerations. It also emphasizes and stresses the right of all treaty members to use peaceful nuclear technology.”
- “Following the end of bi-polar power tensions, the trend of cooperation and competition has taken the place of absolute competition or absolute cooperation. Regional cooperation and regional gravitation, alongside the use of intra-regional capacities, brings the promise of a multipolar world order.”
- “In such circumstances, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in the vast and important Eurasian area, has important and historical responsibilities to secure the expansion of member states’ political, economic and cultural relations.”
- “Deep historical ties, ancient and rich cultures, economic cooperation based on mutual interests and widespread capacities in the energy and transportation fields will result in stable political and regional relations.”
- “Extremism, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and the presence of intra-regional forces are the primary challenges in the regional security arena that necessitate increased cooperation by member states.”
- “The majority of United Nations countries, including 120 member states of the Non-Alignment Movement, have dismissed the illegal and political sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. These sanctions are an uncivilized measure and dangerous novelty meant to disrupt Iranian expansion trends, and they have unmercifully targeted innocent and normal citizens.”
- “Humanity's present language must be the language of understanding and respect. Unfortunately, some powers have been unable to leave the ancient colonial circle and still speak to other countries with the language of force based on old habits.”
- “I announce that only with political determination, mutual respect, the security of joint interests, and the fulfillment of the Iranian people’s individual objectives can the peacefulness of the Iranian nuclear program be guaranteed. With mutual confidence building, this mutual guarantee can be achieved in a short amount of time.”
- “Iran, which is a great victim of chemical weapons, has opposed the production, maintenance and usage of these weapons and seeks the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction from the region and therefore considers Russia’s proposal an appropriate beginning for this goal. We also believe that arming extremist and takfiri groups, and especially these groups’ access to chemical weapons, is the greatest danger for regional peace and security and must be paid attention to in all plans. In addition, all measures to reach a political solution must condemn and neutralize any threats and reliance on force.”
- President Hassan Rouhani met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed expanding bilateral relations and cooperation to resolve regional issues. He added, “Today, a better opportunity has been created so [we] can resolve the Iranian nuclear program with cooperation and the exchange of views.”
- President Putin has reportedly agreed to travel to Iran per President Rouhani’s invitation.
- Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi stated, “The Zionist regime and its allies sought to invade Syria, as a part of the Axis of Resistance, with a hasty decision, but the reaction of public opinion and the strength of the Resistance Front forced the warmongers’ retreat.”
Military and Security
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated, “In the meeting between the Iranian and Russian heads of states, the topic of expanding bilateral cooperation in various stages, including defense interactions, will certainly be introduced. Of course this depends on the opinion of the two countries' presidents to introduce the extent of such matters. If these two countries’ agree in this topic, the matter will be transferred to experts and related subsets for further review.”
- Senior Political Advisor to the Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani praised last week’s attack against the MEK in Camp Ashraf that left dozens of members dead and stated, “This revenge demonstrates the high capability of anti-Zionist and anti-American nuclei in the region.”
- Islamic Guidance and Culture Minister Ali Jannati said, “Sources of Emulation have had concerns regarding the supervision of book publications and books' adherence to religious principles, as well as preventing some deviations that may exist in some books and publications, concerns which we are confidently attempting to reduce.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized the Iranian nuclear program’s peaceful nature and said that both sides must pursue “mutual goals” to reach a solution:
- “I can now claim that this is our goal as well [the peaceful nature of nuclear program] because it is in our national security interests for the whole world to know that we do not seek nuclear weapons and that nuclear weapons have no place in Iranian security doctrine. In addition, it is detrimental to our security if the world even believes we are seeking nuclear weapons.”
- “[T]he Iranian nuclear program is not dependent on anything external, thus you cannot prohibit Iran from something that belongs to the country. We possess knowledge of nuclear issues and nuclear technology. You cannot withhold our own scientists and cannot prohibit us from using our technological infrastructure. This program exists and you cannot call for its disappearance and destruction.”
- “Iranian indigenous nuclear capacities must emerge in a transparent and international framework. Enrichment must be visible and accessible to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the possibility should exist for it to be placed under international supervision, just as it has been in previous years. This is the only guarantee that the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful in nature.”
- “I must emphasize that neither this, nor any other Iranian administration, has not and will never be inclined to forego a bit of the Iranian people’s rights.”
- “I believe America can play a key role in finding a solution.”
- “Nuclear negotiations must have a deadline.”
- Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akbar Salehi announced that Russia will transfer responsibility for the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iranian contractors on September 24th.
- Operationalization of Southern Pars gas fields phases 15 and 16 has been postponed until at least mid-March.
- Parliament has authorized the administration to import gasoline in order to stabilize prices in the face of increasing domestic consumption. Iran will export crude oil to Indian refineries for processing.
- Kermanshah province Governor Hojjatollah Demiad announced that the Ghasr-e Shirin “special regional area” [by the Iraq border] should be transformed into a free trade zone.
Photo of the Day
- From right to left, IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami and IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani attend the funeral ceremony of Suleimani’s mother in Kerman.