Iran News Round Up September 26, 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 Lisnewich. 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.

Politics

Diplomacy and Regional Developments

  • President Hassan Rouhani met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will hold another meeting with Ashton tonight. 
  • President Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly to discuss nuclear weapons disarmament:
    • “I want to acknowledge the fundamental role of nuclear weapons-free regions in the way of nuclear disarmament and international peace and security. I consider it necessary to praise the determinant role of non-nuclear countries, especially the Non-Alignment Movement member states, who comprise the vast majority of this region.”
    • “On behalf of the Non-Alignment Movement, I urge all nuclear countries to ratify a joint protocol to all related treaties related to creating this region, abrogate any delays or interpretive announcements that are in conflict with their intent, and respect the non-nuclear situation of these regions.”
    • “I insistently urge all nuclear governments to sign, speedily and without delay, the protocol and related documents related to the logical agreement of a Southwestern Asia free of nuclear weapons.”
    • “Unfortunately, four decades of international attempts to create an area free of nuclear weapons in the region have been faced with failure. In this path, adopting practical, pressing steps to create such a region is necessary.”
    • As the only non-member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in this region, Israel must join this agreement without delay so all nuclear activities in the region will be placed under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
    • “The international community must redouble attempts to support the formation of this region whose creation will have an important [role] in fulfilling nuclear disarmament.”
    • “In this path, I affirm that governments that have not signed the NPT request a conference to be held immediately in order to create a region free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East with the participation of all countries in this region, so any unforeseen outcomes in this path can be prevented.” 
  • President Rouhani also met with Iraqi Vice President Khodair al-Khozaei on the sidelines of the UNGA and spoke about the countries’ developing relationship, as well as regional violence.
    • “We see two great, brotherly nations who always have an interest in securing their shared interests.”
    • “Without a doubt, there are many capacities in which to grow our relations, including in the cultural, political, economic, touristic, and pilgrimage arenas.”
    • “We are very sorry that the people of [Iraq] also suffer from terrorist actions.”
    • “If the crisis in Syria is not resolved, it is possible that its scope will spread to other countries in the region.”
    • Khozaei responded: “We are very happy and pleased that a wise, thoughtful, and logical person was elected President of Iran by the people of that country…We seek relations with the government and nation of Iran in all areas.”
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed Iran-US relations and nuclear negotiations:
    • “[Today’s session] is a substantive meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers. This session is to demonstrate the Islamic Republic of Iran’s political will that can progress the nuclear issue, the Iranian people’s will and international rights.”
    • “These two-stage measures can create confidence from our perspective by agreed-upon steps with mutual goals while also reaching results in a defined time.”
    • “[W]e hope that the next round of negotiations in mid-October will continue with this shape and outlook.”
    • “This meeting [between Presidents Obama and Rouhani] could have taken place if the necessary preparation and coordination were provided. The President has no fundamental problem with the meeting and he has always said that he will pursue what is in the national interest and advancement of Iran’s ideals.”
    • “We did not seek theatrical works. The American government announced readiness to hold this meeting the day before the [General Assembly] and there was no sufficient opportunity for the necessary cooperation to be provided so we know this is not a theatrical move.”
    • Regarding President Obama’s UN speech: “We have disagreements regarding some outlooks that were stated. But more moderate statements were introduced from Obama than before, and if statements are in the path of alleviating the Iranian people’s concerns, having more than one meeting can help resolve these issues.”
    • There are indicators that John Kerry is inclined [to advance the nuclear matter in Iran’s interest].” 
  • Foreign Minister Zarif met with his counterparts from Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Belarus to discuss expansion of economic and trade cooperation. These ministers reportedly welcomed Iran’s new approach. The Singapore Speaker of Parliament has announced that he will visit Tehran. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei stated, “We consider Iran a key partner in the region,” and Zarif also emphasized Iran-Belarus relations.  
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and North African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian welcomed President Obama’s UN speech and said, “The determining factor will be the practical steps that the United States of America takes regarding Iran.”
  • Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi announced that the Islamic Republic is financing the religious seminaries of “nine Islamic countries.” 

Military and Security

Nuclear Issue

  • Foreign Ministers from Iran and the UN Security Council will meet today regarding nuclear issues and they will meet once again in October in Geneva to continue negotiations. 
  • President Hassan Rouhani discussed the nuclear negotiations timeline and said, “The shorter this time line is, the more beneficial it is for everyone. Iran believes that this timeline is three months. If it is six months it will be appropriate too. This matter will be resolved within a few months, not a few years.”
  • Deputy of Legal and International Affairs of the Foreign Ministry and member of Iran’s nuclear negotiations team Abbas Eraghchi spoke on the future of Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1, as well as the country’s goals for the process:
    • “With these negotiations, a new period of negotiations begins between Iran and the P5+1. This is the first time that the Foreign Ministry has held a joint meeting with the six countries and Iran.”
    • “The first stage is arriving at a framework of understanding with a perspective on the negotiations and the presentation of the final goal. The first way to a goal is arriving on a shared path with the P5+1, knowing where we will be going and what steps we will be taking.”
    • “Today’s meeting with the P5+1 is not a theatrical and symbolic session. We are certainly seeking a new round of substantive negotiations.”
    • “Of course this is difficult work. Arriving at an understanding and framework of shared thought and designing the steps is a very difficult and complex job.”
    • “We are entering the negotiations with a completely cooperative and professional spirit. We will put past details to the side and enter the contents of the negotiations.”
    • “Our expectations [on the negotiations’ length] must be limited, reasonable, and rational. We neither expect to arrive it results in one night, nor are we looking for negotiations to last years. However, we hope that we can arrive at a result within a reasonable time period."

Economy

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