Iran News Round Up September 9, 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.
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Friday Prayer Leaders from around the country and discussed the conflict between Western and Islamic civilization:
- “If we want to defend Islam’s integrity, we must have a broad look at global and national issues. There has been a deep conflict between Islam and the West that spans centuries, and we are amid the continuation of this conflict today.”
- “If there is no strength and the Westerners find an opening, they will show no mercy, just as they do not express sadness about killing millions in world wars and the massacre of innocents in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.”
- “The emergence of the Islamic Awakening was certain and the West entered the field with concern and haste.”
- “The era of colonialism was not sustainable, and the West pursued its dominance in the economic, political and cultural form in the Eastern and Islamic countries.”
- “In such circumstances, the Islamic Awakening movement has begun in the region, and the Westerners, who view themselves as being further behind than the Islamic Revolution intellectual movement, entered the field with haste to confront Islamic Awakening and political Islam.”
- “This ‘victory of victories’ [the Islamic Republic] still exists with strength and steadfastness and an ever more internal solidarity, and increase adherence of its organs to values and principles will certainly make this strength and ‘victory of victories’ invulnerable.”
- Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated, “If the excuses of the Western sides are not introduced, conducting serious negotiations and achieving understanding is possible.”
- Senior Islamic Motalefeh Party member Hamid Reza Taraghi said, “The West’s attack on Syria is to the detriment of the new Rouhani Administration’s policies because this attack will make Iran’s position towards America more hostile and will close the path of negotiations and dialogue.”
- Combatant Clergy Society member Jafar Shojouni said, “Even though we say this act [attacking Syria] is a mistake and we oppose it, we have something else in mind and it would not be bad that America commits this mistake and then sees the results. From one side, Syria will strike Saudi Arabia and from another [Lebanese] Hezbollah and Iran will target Tel Aviv and we will wipe Israel from the earth. I want to see what America is going to do at that time. Therefore, our government would not mind that such an event occurs, even though our country will be seriously damaged in this [period], but this matter will, God willing, end with Israel’s destruction.”
- Senior cleric Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said, “Believe it or not, some of the prayers I said, especially along the grave of this benevolent Ahl-e Beit lady [Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom; daughter of the seventh Shi’a Imam Musa al-Kadhim] was for Syria, that God may keep the enemies’ evil away from Islamic countries.”
- Followers of the Principlist Rahravan-e Velayat faction member Hojjat al-Eslam Rouhollah Beigi announced the unofficial formation of the Moderation faction in the Parliament.
- An Asr-e Iran editorial discussed whether moral police enforcement of female hejab is to the benefit or detriment of the Islamic Republic. It reads in part, “Negative confrontations not only do not have any benefit, but rather defeat the purpose, and woe that it transforms a normal non-political girl who was solely in ‘bad-hejab’ to an anti-system political element during arrest and humiliation.”
- Answering the message of congratulations by Head of the European Parliament Martin Schultz, President Hassan Rouhani wrote, “Improving relations between Iran, the Parliament and other European institutions, lifting misunderstandings and creating a new environment of joint moderation and understanding based on mutual respect are primary and serious priorities in the new Iranian administration’s foreign policy, In this regard, any dialogue and exchange of opinions will be welcomed.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with senior Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani to discuss Syrian events. [For extensive excerpts of Zarif's remarks while in Iraq please visit our page tracking Iranian officials' responses to the Syria crisis.]
- An editorial on Ahlul Bayt News Agency claims that “200,000 Lebanese Hezbollah missiles” will target the “usurper Zionist regime,” in case of a Syria strike.
- Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian groups reportedly affirmed that the recent clashes between the two groups in Bojr al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp were personal and “did not have any political basis whatsoever.”
Military and Security
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari released a statement expressing his condolences on the passing of senior cleric Ayatollah Hassan Taheri Khorram Abadi.
- IRGC Rasoul-Allah Brigade (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini discussed the potential American attack on Syria:
- “They [the West] have not denied any attempts to prevent the rise and emergency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and currently our revolution is not bound to geographic borders but has gone to points beyond the borders. Today, the Islamic Revolution has penetrated the Indian and Pacific Oceans.”
- “War in Syria, in reality, is war against the Iranian Islamic Revolution and all resistances. America attacks Syria without [UN] Security Council authority, unless a particular event occurs in Syria and it avoids this measure. The current situation demonstrates that after America’s attack against Syria, a new event will occur in the Middle East that is no longer like Iraq and Afghanistan.”
- “The Islamic Republic of Iran system enjoys unprecedented peace and security which is the result of the creation of the nation’s political epic on [June 14, 2013; election day] that ensured the revolution and the system after the  sedition. We hope officials create an economic epic and that we observe the creation of this epic.”
- “The Basij must have a category for special attention towards culture and affect society by implementing cultural and social work and utilize this golden opportunity to absorb new individuals.”
- Representative of the Supreme leader in the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi said, “The weight of the revolution, government and unified system is on the shoulders of the two fundamental pillars, meaning the Supreme Leader and the people, in which the people’s role is creating power for God.”
- Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi praised the recent attack on Mojahedin-e Khalgh [MEK] Camp Ashraf in Iraq:
- “The attack that was carried out by Iraqi mujahedin against Camp Ashraf was more important than the Mersad Operation [Iran-Iraq War counter-offensive against an incursion into Iran of 7,000 MEK forces] because a large number of the founding Hypocrite leaders were destroyed in one day.”
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said that the Camp Ashraf attack “has broad strategic importance in future regional events.” He added, “America, which considered al-Qaeda as the symbol of terrorists, is using them today as field forces in Syria against the country’s system.”
- Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firzouabadi appointed former Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as one of his senior advisers.
- The Seyyeda Zeynab Shrine Defenders Conference will be held today in Tehran and Senior Political Advisor to the Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Yadollah Javani will provide the keynote address.
- Basij investors, Intellectuals and the Country’s Superior Talents Deputy Esmail Naderi Lordjani announced the organization’s readiness to provide “technical, engineering and medical aid in reconstructing Syria’s various areas.”
- Head of the IRGC Mohammad Rasoul-Allah (Greater Tehran) Women’s Basij said, “With attention to [the fact] that we are in a soft war, the more we expand the Basij’s umbrella and increase the youth’s membership in the Basij, the more we will have vaccinated them against soft war, and through this can be victorious against the enemy.”
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that an information exchange between Iran and the United States regarding Syria had taken place, and provided further details on the new nuclear negotiations team:
- “Iran does not pursue the shape of negotiations as much, but our preference is that negotiations take place at a level that there is the necessary political will in the opposing side to reach a solution. We feel that such political will has not been demonstrated by the opposing side, but currently new circumstances have been created.”
- “Guaranteeing the peaceful [nature] of the Iranian nuclear program is not possible without Iran’s access to the nuclear technology that has become indigenized by Iranian scientists and exists in our scientists’ minds. On this basis, Iran considers both issues in the path of its interest and is prepared to take measures in this regard.”
- “Determining the methods and levels of negotiations is with the Foreign Ministry, which is based on the necessities of negotiations. Negotiations can be at the level of Minister or [at a level] that other friends pursue, but guiding the nuclear case is under the supervision of the Supreme National Security Council whose chairmanship is with the Islamic Republic of Iran's President.”
- “International negotiations regarding the nuclear program will be pursued by the Foreign Ministry which will be based on the necessity of strategic and tactical negotiations.”
- “Maintaining nuclear achievements and alleviating the international community’s concern is the Islamic Republic’s goal, which we consider necessary for our national security and stability.”
- “Some team members have been selected and others must be introduced by other organs, which we hope are introduced.”
- Former Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said, “About two and a half years ago, in a letter regarding sanctions that I wrote which [First Vice President] Mr. Eshagh Jahangiri pointed out in the administration’s session, I predicted the trend of the new sanctions and which matters it will encompass. Unfortunately, some friends at that time criticized such analyses…. [They said], 'They [the West] cannot sanction our oil and the Central Bank and if they want to sanction our oil, oil price will become 250 dollars.'”
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh appointed former petrochemical industries executive Abbas She’ri Moghaddam as Deputy Minister and National Petrochemical Industries Company Managing Director.
- Deputy Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said in a interview that Iranian oil production can return to “a normal routine within two years," and denied the existence of an “oil mafia” in the country.
- Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabi’i stated, “From a productivity aspect, we are not in a good situation and I currently do not know the unemployment rate in the country, because statistical bases have been moved.”
Photo of the Day
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses Iran’s Friday Prayer Leaders.