Iran News Round Up October 29-31, 2011

 A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
 
(E) = Article in English

 

 Politics

  • Mohammad Dehqan, a parliamentary board member, says the Supreme Leader's statements about changing the nature of the regime from a presidential system to a parliamentary one raises the possibility that the 2013 presidential elections could be cancelled.
    • In an earlier interview Dehqan said: "Since the president considers the public vote as his support base, he pushes all the powers of the state and individuals around..." Dehqan also argued that the presidency should be abolished: "In our country, the president is only the head of the cabinet and the Guardian Council is the head of the regime... The Parliament desires to use its powers, but because the president is voted through popular vote, he is not ready to obey the law and parliamentary supervision."
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, parliamentary National Security Committee chairman, dismisses reports that he and his son had been arrested in the $3 billion embezzlement case.

Diplomacy

  • Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi comments on Hillary Clinton's statements concerning readiness of the United States to establish diplomatic relations with Tehran:
    • "We have heard many statements of this kind. These statements are full of contradictions..."
    • "On the one hand they express their interest in establishing relations, but on the other hand statements are made which don't relate to the previous statements..."
    • "During the past 32 years the Islamic Republic has proved that it is relying upon itself and is ready to pay any price to preserve its independence..."
    • "Our foundation is establishing relations with all countries in the world with the exception of the Zionist regime which we consider illegitimate."
    • "Establishing relations makes sense when both parties start the negotiations without preconditions and at the same level, and it seems that the time is not yet ripe."
    • "The United States still behaves based upon the logic of power and arrogance and must sooner or later understand the reality that Iran is not a country to which one can talk to from the position of arrogance."
    • "If the United States follows a logical line many problems would be different and they should enter international issues through logic and good will."
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Rowhani comments on the alleged plot to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States:
    • "I believe it is a trap, probably made by the United States and the Zionists, and Saudi Arabia has somehow become entangled in it. Otherwise, Saudi Arabia should not consider Iran's power as anathema to its national security and interests..."
    • "The West is trying to mobilize the international public opinion against Iran by promoting the nuclear and human rights issues. The issues they have raised during the recent days are very sensitive: Human rights, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism. They have raised them simultaneously, meaning that Iran is a supporter of terrorism, it is plotting to participate in terrorism itself, it violates human rights and does not allow the rapporteur to visit the country, and is a country which does not cooperate with the IAEA. These are the cards which the United States plays and serves the purpose of creating an atmosphere...which helps them start the debate about future sanctions in the Security Council without being opposed by other countries..."
    • "They raise the issue of sanctioning the Central Bank...which is not new... They are seeking a crushing pressure which forces Iran to its knees... But their main problem is that they are unsuccessful in the Security Council."   

Nuclear Issue

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Rowhani comments on his previous role as nuclear negotiator:
    • "We did not decide the nuclear goals of the country; they were decided by the regime. When I was trusted with the responsibility of the nuclear team, two goals became our priorities: The first goal was to safeguard the national security, and the second goal was to support and help the nuclear achievements. These were the identified goals. We were trusted with the responsibility in September 2003 where the West was trying to send the nuclear issue to the Security Council at a time the United States was victorious in Iraq... But with our struggle, we did not let the United States succeed...."
    • "When I was entrusted with this portfolio, we had no production in Isfahan. We couldn't produce UF4 or UF6. Had Natanz been filled with centrifuges, we did not have the material which needed to be injected. There was a small amount of UF6 which we had previously procured from certain countries and this was what we had at our disposal. But the Isfahan facilities had to be completed before it could remake yellow cake to UF4 and UF6. We used the opportunity to do so and completed the Isfahan facilities... In Arak we continued our efforts and achieved heavy water... We had no heavy water either, but managed to achieve it during this period. We achieved yellow cake in Bandar Abbas..."
    • "The reason for inviting the three European foreign ministers to Tehran and for the Saadabad negotiations was to make Europe oppose the United States so that the issue was not submitted to the Security Council. This is also written in Mr. Fischer's memoirs and he says: 'We promised the Tehran authorities that this case should not be submitted to the Security Council.' This is the promise they made to us. I have never said this before in interviews... With an active foreign policy, we saved the country from war under conditions where the Americans were at the apex of their pride... Rowhani is not defending himself, he is defending [the track record] of the regime. At that juncture, the Islamic Republic acted very wisely in my view and did not allow the United States to succeed. It managed to oppose the United States and did not allow the nuclear case to be submitted to the Security Council... This was my objective, but I also achieved something else. I discussed with them and asked if the United States takes the issue to the Security Council, would you [the European foreign ministers] veto the United States plan or not? Both Britain and France said 'we would veto it.'"

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