Iran News Round Up - March 5, 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.
Military and Security
- Defense Minister Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan announced that the Defense Ministry Aerospace Organization has transferred a large number of its latest “indigenous” Iranian ballistic missiles to the IRGC Aerospace Forces, including Ghadr H, Ghiam, Fateh 110 and Khalij-e Fars. The Defense Minister also announced the transfer of the Mersad air defense system to the Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base.
- He stated, “Today the armed forces enjoy defensive capabilities able to confront any threat beyond the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our nation’s enemies are aware of these capabilities and their threats are media rhetoric aimed for domestic consumption.”
- Dehghan also announced that the Ghadr H and Ghiam ballistic missiles have been armed with cluster warheads.
- He then touted that ballistic missile circular error probability has reached a radius of less than five meters
- The Ghiam missile, with an 800 kilometer range, has been designed with the one specific purpose of “Destroying American bases and interests around Iran.”
- Head of IRGC Public Affairs Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif warned against the “enemy’s” plan to create “distance between the people and the Supreme Leader, as well as the IRGC and the Supreme Leader.” He then boasted, “Part of [the IRGC] power demonstration was aiding victory in Lebanon and Palestine in the transnational arena, which the enemy is well aware of. Just as our logic has succeeded in Syria and Lebanon, it will also succeed in Egypt and Jordan because this is God’s promise.”
- Representation of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Culture and Propaganda Deputy Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Assoudi claimed, “We are currently in a soft war situation. In these past few years, a soft war has been imposed on us like hard war. Soft war is much more effective. We must act with soft strength to fight in the soft war. One of the components of soft war is the cultural and literary arena.”
- A source in the Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters denied Israeli claims of intercepting a ship carrying Iranian missiles bound for Gaza.
- In an interview, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader and Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ali Akbar Velayati discussed the connection of recent Ukrainian events with the Syrian crisis and US and Iran relations:
- “I believe that the reason Ukrainian developments became tense all of a sudden is related to the Geneva and Syria matter in a way. The Russians were no longer prepared to defer to America’s ordering. I had said at the time that Geneva 2 will not go anywhere and that it will hit an impasse. It turned out this way.”
- “The Americans noticed that they will not get anywhere in these negotiations and the Russians made their own decision to support the Syrian government. In reality, the Americans made Ukraine ‘hot.’”
- “America knows that symmetric security in the region is not possible without Iran. No country in the region is as powerful as Iran and the stability of no country is as strong as Iran.”
- “The Americans will not be satisfied whatsoever. You saw that Ms. Sherman had said that her wish is for Iran to not have any nuclear activities. America’s President has also said that he would open the screws of Iran’s nuclear installations. This is their wish, but they cannot [achieve it]. The best interpretation is that we say these [Americans] have no choice but to surrender to the role of a ‘strong Iran’ in the region.”
- “The red lines are non-reduction in the number of centrifuges. We will also not forego the Arak heavy water reactor and Fordo site.”
- Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow to discuss the latest developments in Syria.
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier today and both emphasized increased bilateral cooperation. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the preliminary agreement between Iran and the P5+1 and announced that Tokyo is prepared to cooperate with Iran on peaceful nuclear energy.
- Security and Enforcement Deputy to the Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi announced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to aid Kabul in holding the upcoming Afghan presidential elections and also hold a vote for Afghan refugees living in Iran.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Marziyeh Afkham called Gulf Cooperation Council allegations about Iranian interference in Bahrain “completely baseless.” She also emphasized that the three islands of Greater Tonb, lesser Tonb and Abu Musa in the Strait of Hormuz belong to Iran “forever.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah denied allegations by the Dubai Deputy Police Commander that it was responsible for training the recent Bahraini bomber.
- IRGC-affiliated media outlet Tasnim News Agency opened its Beirut office earlier today. Tasnim News Agency Managing Director Majid Gholizadeh stated, “It is expected from the Head of Tasnim Representation in Lebanon Office [Katayoun Haji Hosseini] to have the upper hand in correct and timely informing, with attention that Lebanon is the intersection of media relations and various political, cultural and social media outlets in the region.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Na’im Qassem welcomed the inauguration of Tasnim News Agency’s Lebanon office and met with senior Tasnim executives. Qassem stated, “The inauguration of this office is a very important step. We, who in the current stage are placed against Global Arrogance [West], need correct and strong media reflection through outlets like Tasnim so we can deliver such news to the world.”
- Foreign Ministry Political and International Director Hamid Baidinejad is leading the Iranian delegation in the latest negotiations with the P5+1. The agenda includes enrichment, Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cooperation and the Arak heavy water reactor. The talks began earlier today and are scheduled to last through Friday, although both sides have announced that the negotiations may extend if necessary.
- Iranian Permanent Representative to the IAEA Board of Governors Reza Najafi addressed the IAEA Board of Governors earlier today. He stated, “Removing Iran from the agendas of the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors, removal of all sanctions and establishment of an international civilian nuclear cooperation are major components of a final agreement. In return, increased transparency and supervision on peaceful nuclear activities in the final agreement will strengthen mutual trust.”
- In a letter to the newly appointed Governor of Khorasan-e Razavi province Ali Reza Rashidian, President Hassan Rouhani urged him to utilize all “moderate forces” and ignore their political leanings.
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani criticized the media and said, “These days, newspapers and magazines write things that make humans wonder. They insult the Leader of the Faithful [First Shi’a Imam Ali] or undermine divine sentences of the Qur’an. We must not be satisfied with the performance of these publishings whatsoever, because the human heart is either the place of Satan or the place of righteousness and truth.”
- Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei urged the executive, legislative and judicial branches to take seriously “the emphasis of the Supreme Leader on fulfilling the resistance economy.”
- Parliament First Vice Chairman Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard stated, “Implementation of the Supreme Leader’s resistance economy policies will lead to Iran’s transformation to an economic power in the fourth decade of the Revolution.”
Photo of the Day
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei plants a tree on Tree Planting Day.