Iran News Round Up April 13, 2012

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

Diplomacy

  • Reactions to Rafsanjani's call for direct talks with the United States:
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Yousef Tabatabaeinejad, Isfahan Friday prayer leader: "According to the Iranian constitution, foreign policy decision-making is the duty of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution and it is the duty of all to follow his orders... Personal viewpoints about relations with the United States sent to the Supreme Leader of the Revolution should not become matters of [discussion] in the media..." 
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Abd al-Darim Abedini, Qazvin Friday prayer leader: "The well known past record of the Americans taken into consideration, anyone who talks of having relations with them either lacks political understanding or is cooperating with the enemies of the revolution in order to achieve certain interests... The people will break the hands of such individuals!"
    • Parliamentarian Nasrollah Kamalian: "Talk of relations with the United States is deviation." 

Military and Security

  • Army Commander Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan addresses the Tehran Friday prayer:
    • "All these activities [Progress in Iran's defense industries] take place within the defense doctrine of the Islamic Republic which is based on deterrence... Therefore, we will never begin a war just like the eight years Sacred Defense which we did not begin it... However, this does not mean that we ignore monitoring threats. Even the slightest movements on the ground, in the air or in the sea are not hidden from the eyes of our experts... We do not believe that the enemies are in a position to open a front against the Islamic Republic."

Nuclear Issue

  • Negotiations with the 5+1 Group in Istanbul:
    • According to Fars News, the Islamic Republic delegation to the 5+1 negotiations in Istanbul is headed by Said Jalili, Supreme National Security Council secretary. The other Islamic Republic representatives include Ali Baqeri, Foreign Policy and International Security deputy of the Supreme National Security Council, and Abbas Eraqchi, Asia and Pacific deputy at the Foreign Ministry.
    • Press TV quoting "sources close to the Iranian negotiators" writes: "The positions [of the 5+1 Group] are not promising."
    • Ayatollah Emami Kashani, temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader:
      • "The power and glory of the Islamic regime of Iran, the unity and solidarity of the people, and the scientific power Iran has achieved are important issues to which the 5+1 Group must pay attention.... The activities of Iran today are not aiming at a nuclear weapon, it is for scientific [purposes], and the 5+1 Group must believe this. They must believe in the Islamic regime and unity within the country as well, and must appreciate the wisdom, initiative and creativity of the Leader of the Revolution in management of the affairs of the state."
    • Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel, parliamentarian: "The pre-negotiation atmosphere this time is calmer than earlier rounds and the two parties speak a softer and more polite language."
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Ebrahimi, parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy committee deputy:
      • "The negotiations are happening in places we demanded. Therefore we believe that the conditions are ripe. If there is no sabotage in the negotiations, the results would be to the benefit of the Islamic Republic... They want us to retreat from some of our positions, and it is certainly likely that they offer that we should suspend some of our policies, or limit enrichment to a certain level. These goals seem to be their goals in this round of negotiations."

Trade

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader:

Publications by AEI scholars

  • Alfoneh and Fulton: Quds Force commander and candidate: Gholamreza Baghbani:
    • The US Department of the Treasury (USDOT) has designated Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force (IRGC QF) Brigadier General Gholamreza Baghbani, current chief of the IRGC QF office in Zahedan, a narcotics trafficker… A review of Baghbani’s career, however, can provide insight into the ongoing generational change within the QF—as the older generation of IRGC QF field operatives is retiring from operational positions, they are actively attempting to infiltrate politics, exemplified by Baghbani’s candidacy for Iran’s ninth parliamentary election.  

Photos of the Day

  • Photos of Karim Fakhravi, a Persian speaking Shi'a who died in police custody in Bahrain.