Iran News Round Up - July 16, 2015

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analysts Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin and Mondona Salahshoor. 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.

Key takeaway:  British Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly expressed interest in reopening the British embassy in Tehran during a telephone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cautioned that “implementing” the nuclear agreement “will be a lot of work.”  

President Hassan Rouhani said that Prime Minister David Cameron “expressed interest in reopening embassies and expansion of ties in the framework of mutual interest and respect and combating terrorism in the region.” Cameron called the nuclear agreement “a new beginning” for relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, the French, German, and Spanish Foreign Ministers announced that they will be traveling to Iran in the near future. 

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the nuclear agreement will pave the way for greater regional cooperation on “terrorism” and “extremism,” which he described as the “first and foremost” issue. Zarif warned, however, that “implementing” the agreement would be a “huge process.”

IRGC members held a mourning ceremony for IRGC Colonel Qassem Gharib in Golestan province. Gharib died in Syria on July 11. IRGC Colonel Abdul Karim Ghavabish was buried in Khuzestan province on July 16. He was reportedly killed in Syria on July 11.

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis explores reactions to the nuclear deal announcement from President Rouhani, Supreme Leader Khamenei, and other voices within Iran’s leadership in his most recent blogpost “Iran takes a victory lap.”

Official Statements

  • Zarif on Iran after the deal. In an interview with The New Yorker, Mohammad Javad Zarif  stated that "the day after a deal, it will be a lot of work for people to get it implemented...it's a huge process, both in Iran and... in the United States, because some people have been accustomed to the sanctions." The Foreign Minister added:
    • On regional issues: Zarif stated that the “real issues” are "first and foremost...extremism and terrorism, which is a menace in the region that threatens everybody. We see that ISIS is spreading its influence..." He added that sectarianism is a challenge "for all governments in this region."
    • On the effect of the nuclear deal: Zarif stated the agreement "…will provide for greater interaction and greater integration...we will have more trade and less intervention by the United States in our business...Iran is a great investment opportunity..."
    • On regional relations: He added that it is has always been a priority to improve relations with Iran’s neighbors, even before the nuclear deal.
    • On a possible meeting with the Saudi foreign minister: "I have no problem sitting down with anybody from this region, provided they are not engaged in criminal atrocities against their neighbors."
    • What Iran wants next: "We just want to live a normal life." (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/441867/%D9%87%D9%85%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B...
       
  • Golpayegani praises negotiating team. Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpayegani commended the negotiating team and President Hassan Rouhani for the nuclear deal, and said “I hope that these successes for Islam and our dear nation will continue more than ever.”  The senior cleric added, “God willing, a good result will be produced for the country; I hope that its benefits will become clearer day by day…I like the deal that was produced and I am certain that our honorable nation is also happy.” (ABNA)  http://fa.abna24.com/service/grand-ayatollah/archive/2015/07/15/690317/s...

Nuclear Deal

  • Shamkhani: “The nuclear file…will remain with the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).” Ali Shamkhani said that “all of us must appreciate the resistance of the people, the guidance of the Supreme Leader, and the care of the President in bringing the nuclear negotiations to end.” The Supreme National Security Council Secretary (SNSC) stressed that “the nuclear file, as the most important file relating to security, has been with the SNSC from the beginning until now and naturally…this file will remain with the SNSC.” (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81685142/
     
  • Zarif: UNSC will recognize Iran's right to nuclear enrichment. Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will issue a statement next week to officially recognize Iran's right to nuclear enrichment activities. The Foreign Minister added that the UNSC’s recognition will prove that the sanctions and pressures from the West had no effect on Iran. (MFA) (E) http://en.mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&p...
     
  • Ghalibaf greets the negotiating team in Tehran. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf voiced his gratitude to the entire negotiating team, including "his dear friend" Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The Tehran mayor acknowledged the team’s diligent work efforts and desires to keep the people of Iran happy. (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/217198
     

Military and Security

  • Ghalibaf praises the IRGC. Tehran Mayor and former senior IRGC commander Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf commended the IRGC for “always being the front line in following the law and protecting the rights of the people.” (Basij Press) http://basijpress.ir/fa/news-details/51221/
     
  • IRGC colonel killed in Syria honored in Golestan province. IRGC members honored the remains of IRGC Col. Qassem Gharib in Gorgon, Golestan province. Gharib died in Syria on July 11. Defa Press identified Gharib as the “third defender” from Golestan province to die in Iraq or Syria. (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49768
     
  • IRGC veteran killed in Syria is buried in Khuzestan province. IRGC Col. Abdul Karim Ghavabish was buried in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, on July 16. A veteran of the Iran-Iraq War and reportedly retired, Ghavabish was killed in Syria on July 11. Defa Press stated that he is the “11th martyr” from Khuzestan province to die in Syria or Iraq. Ghavabish was 48 years old.  IRGC Ground Forces Karbala Base Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Ahmad Khadim Seyyed ol Shohada attended Ghavabish’s funeral ceremony. (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49816 http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49815  
     
  • Esmaili: New missile systems will be unveiled in September. IRGC Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili stated, “New missile systems with technology addressing electronic warfare and new medium-range and long-range radar will be added to [an] integrated air defense network on September 1 this year.” The Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander stated, “Radar and missile defense systems will cover an important part of the south and southeastern region of the country; what has been seen in these systems, especially in long-range radar systems, is defensive depth.” (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49826

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • German Foreign Minister to travel to Iran. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced that “I will certainly travel to Iran, but I don’t have concrete travel plans yet.”   German Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel has also said that he will travel to Iran in the near future. (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940424001310
     
  • French Foreign Minister to visit Iran. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters that he will accept the invitation offer from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Iran. Fabius did not specify when the trip would take place, but acknowledged the trade opportunity; he stated, "it fosters growth...it's important for the Iranians, it's important to us." (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/15/420354/France-Fabius-Iran-nucle...
     
  • Cameron expresses interest in reopening British embassy in Tehran. British Prime Minister David Cameron held a telephone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani. President Rouhani reported on Twitter that Cameron called the deal a “‘new beginning’ for relations between Tehran and London. President Rouhani said that Cameron “expressed interest in reopening embassies and expansion of ties  in the framework of mutual interest and respect and combating terrorism in the region.” (Mehr News) http://www.mehrnews.com/news/2860660/%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A8%D8%A...
     

Domestic Politics

  • Zarif and Salehi to appear before parliament. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi will brief Parliament on the P5+1 nuclear talks. (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81685422/
     
  • Raja News op-ed criticizes nuclear agreement. Raja News, a conservative Iranian new source linked to the IRGC, wrote an op-ed criticizing the nuclear deal. The title of the piece asks “only 5,600 first-generation centrifuges remain and a decrease in our supply of uranium to 300 kilograms; 15-year restrictions on research; inspections even on military sites; the suspension and not the removal of sanctions nor all the American sanctions… is this a good deal?”  The article concludes by arguing that the nuclear deal and the Lausanne framework contradict the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s redlines.  (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/217015
     

Economy

  • Apple considers entering the Iranian market. A Wall Street Journal report stated that Apple is engaging in talks about possibly distributing its products to Iran. The article added that Apple is considering deals with resellers and local distributors because “this way, Apple could play it safe and [get] its business going without having to invest too heavily in Iran.” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/16/420512/iran-us-trade-apple-ge-boeing-sanctions-
     
  • Iran and the EU will hold conference on post-sanctions opportunities. The purpose of the conference is to bring together Iranian and European Union officials, traders, and entrepreneurs to provide them “with a unique chance to gain insights, analyze and explore opportunities, as well as network with [each other].” Industry, Trade and Mine Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh will lead the Iranian delegation at the Vienna-based conference. (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/16/420528/iran-eu-investment-conference-trade
     
  • Spain seeks economic opportunity in a post-sanction Iran. Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Josè Garcìa-Margallo y Marfil announced that he will visit Iran to look “for business opportunities in the country.” (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81685849/
     
  • Iran and Italy establish a joint car design company. Iranian car manufacturers Iran Khodro and Tisser signed a trilateral agreement with Italian car designer BDI to establish an Iran-Italy joint car design corporation. Cars produced by the corporation will be exported globally, especially to European markets. (IRNA) (E)  http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81678999/ (ISNA) (E) http://isna.ir/en/news/94042413475/First-Iran-Italy-joint-car-design-corporation