Iran News Round Up February 5, 2013

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Tehran's former Prosecutor and head of Social Security Saeed Mortazavi was arrested and reportedly transferred to Evin prison last night.  He was previously under investigation for his involvement in the 2009 abuse and deaths of protesters in the Kahrizak detention center.
  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reacted to Mortazavi's arrest before leaving Tehran to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation conference in Cairo:
    • "Someone has committed a crime, and a person became aware [of it], and [that person] reported the crime.  But instead of investigating the crime, they confront the person who reported the issue, and this is very ugly and not suitable for the people of the Islamic Republic and the Judiciary Branch."
    • "Certainly when I return from my trip I will pursue this matter seriously."
  • Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haj Sadeghi does not believe the United States will ever negotiate seriously with Iran:
    • "They [United States] will never take negotiations [seriously] and their goal is the inhibition of the Islamic revolution.  If they cannot eliminate the Islamic revolution they will pursue the weakening and inhibiting of the revolution, and they have developed this doctrine of inhibition for themselves."
  • Special Advisor to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Mojtaba Zolnour harshly criticized Ahmadinejad and Larijani's open dispute in Parliament:
    • "Today the heads of the two branches damaged the prestige of the Islamic system in an open session of Parliament, attacked each other, boiled the blood of the Supreme Leader, almost caused the friends of the Islamic system to have a heart attack, and provided necessary material for foreign media on the threshold of elections.  If we form a tribune and only show darkness, and begin [criticizing] from Bazargan's temporary government to Bani Sadr, Shariat-madari, Hashemi [Rafsanjani], Khatami, and Ahmadinejad, then the person who is sitting with us or is reading about our subjects in the newspaper, he would tell himself 'if these all turned out [to be] traitors from the top to the bottom, then who has served?'"

Diplomacy

  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Egyptian President Morsi in Cairo, during which time Morsi reportedly compared the Egyptian revolution to the Iranian revolution, and both leaders announced the beginning of increased cooperation between the two countries:
    • Morsi:  "The Egyptian revolution has circumstances similar to the Iranian revolution, and since Egypt does not have an opportunity like Iran for rapid advancement, the growth of cooperation and relations with Iran will be essential and very important."
    • Morsi:   "As the Muslim Brotherhood, we have always been supportive of Iran's Islamic revolution and believe Iranian advancement is an advancement for Egypt and the rest of [the] Islamic countries, because we are witnessing how Islamic countries are being attacked by imperialist enemies and they will attack any country's advancement."
    • Ahmadinejad:  "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to increase its relations with Egypt without any limits in all aspects."
    • Morsi:  "When there is an enemy front, then another front has to exist against them, and this is not possible without unity and cooperation of Islamic countries."
    • Ahmadinejad was accompanied by Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi, Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi, Special Adviser and Head of NAM Secretariat Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Head of the Martyrs Foundation Massoud Zaribafan, and Executive VP Hamid Baghaei.
  • [E] Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi said Iran and Saudi Arabia are “having [constant] contacts and holding meetings on the Syrian crisis in a bid to find a peaceful solution.” He noted that Saudi Arabia has recently changed its stance on Syria and now wants to find a peaceful solution.

Military and Security

  • The Ministry of Intelligence announced the arrest of more journalists with alleged ties to the BBC, noted that a journalist arrested last week has been released on bail, and said that this subservice network is part of a larger effort to wage "soft warfare" against the Islamic Republic:
    • "The existence of similarities in the structure and major and minor goals of this network to the two networks known as 'documentary makers' and 'individuals who provide Persian voice-overs,' which have been identified and legally confronted in the past year, indicates the existence of concentrated think tanks tied to foreign [Western] intelligence agencies, and the establishment of command centers to design, coordinate and implement 'permanent soft warfare' against the holy system of the Islamic Republic."
  • Iran Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam announced the establishment of a citizen "honorary police" division to conduct missions alongside the police special unit for the upcoming presidential elections and Persian New Year [mid March]:
    • "The enemy's new design for the upcoming elections is to increase economic pressure so it can destabilize the country."
    • "In conducting missions, we are attempting to achieve maximum success with minimum damages and losses."

Nuclear Issue

  • [E] FM Ali Akbar Salehi said regarding nuclear negotiations, “We cannot take unilateral steps without gaining respectful responses from the other side…. They should respect our concerns, including our right within the framework of the [NPT] for taking peaceful advantage of nuclear energy, including having access to the full process of enrichment and fuel provision for our facilities, which includes uranium enrichment.”

Photo of the Day

  • Mohammad Morsi greets Iranian Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Heidar Moslehi in Cairo.