Iran News Round Up - March 4, 2014

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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

  • Head of the Imam Khomeini Teaching and Research Institute Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi met with the National Defense University Board of Directors, criticizing President Hassan Rouhani and lamenting that “The necessary will for the Islamization of humanities does not exist”:
    • “It is very unfortunate that some officials in the country consider lack of progress in humanities to be attributed to the existence of red lines, meaning religious bases and Islamic values.”
    • “The ideological basis of the [2009] sedition took shape in London, [because] some of the sedition’s founders were educated in England.”
    • “Many who were educated there share common fundamental thinking. Perhaps this matter could be the enemy’s way of overthrowing Islam and the Islamic Revolution, even though these individuals may not be aware of this.”
    • “The matter of the citizen rights charter introduced stems from that same thinking, in which Baha’is and Muslims and revolutionary and anti-revolutionaries are all equal. Therefore, we must feel danger thirty-five years after the Islamic Revolution that the highest office after the President states something that [Former President Abolhassan] Bani Sadr did not even dare say. Even though they state their words indirectly and in shroud.” 
  • Addressing the Assembly of Experts, President Hassan Rouhani attempted to assuage concerns regarding nuclear negotiations:
    • “Our nation’s rights will be preserved. I affirm that no concern should exist in this country at all, because this administration will not cross the red lines under any circumstances.”
    • “It is clear that they have accepted enrichment. The discussion is that what should be our level and limit of enrichment according to their interpretation that can create the most confidence.”
    • “What the Americans say is for the pressure of their public opinion, extremists and Zionists. Of course there are countries pressuring the Americans in this story. It is clear that the statements of the Americans and Zionists have lots of distance with realities.” 
  • Parliament First Vice Chairman Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard stated, “The basis of resistance economy have been explained by the Supreme Leader for close to a decade. Many of the country’s scientific directors believe in these basis, but have significant distance in action.”
  • Presidential Strategic Research Center Deputy Mohammad Fazeli announced, “Although the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear file has become prominent in foreign policy,  the discussion of the Caspian Sea is another important case of our country’s foreign policy. It has been close to twenty years since a Caspian Sea legal regime has been negotiated.” 

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran and theP5+1 will hold expert level negotiations in Vienna tomorrow, which will serve as preliminary talks for the March 17-20 negotiations.  
  • Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi touted the Islamic Republic’s success in the nuclear negotiations and said that he had recently met with senior cleric Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi to alleviate his concerns regarding the nuclear negotiations:
    • “We are entering nuclear negotiations in circumstances in which we do not have optimism and confidence beyond a reasonable level in the enemy, but we are hopeful about reaching results.”
    • “The experience of enrichment suspension was not a good experience at that time due to various reasons, but at the same time was a necessary experience. We needed to have experienced this in order to have an ultimatum for ourselves.”
    • “Enrichment continues in this accord in the first and last steps. Iran came out of the negotiations with enrichment and it was our will that was imposed on the opposing side.”
    • “If we decided to return to the previous situation, it is possible to do so in less than twenty-four hours. The structure of our nuclear program has been completely preserved. Reversibility in our nuclear program to near 100% is possible, but this reversibility is not in this shape in their sanctions program.” 

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

Military and Security

Economy

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