Iran News Round Up January 30, 2013

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

(E) = Article in English 

 
Politics
  • Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini said that the recently arrested Iranian journalists have had contacts with foreign entities, and indirectly warned other journalists:
    • “[These journalists] crimes were not media related, and there has been contact with [others] outside of the country and this matter is under review.”
    • “Other individuals plotted, and these journalists and news reporters who did not have correct information participated in this path thinking that they were doing their news reporting duties.”
    • “…while we are currently under the enemy’s sanctions some want to play the fifth column role for the enemy and spread despair and hopelessness; these are matters that have to be investigated more and we should discover the role of some of these individuals [journalists] in these matters.”
    • “As we have had orderly discussions with media executives and have relayed some [guidance], some of the executives must also provide lessons to individuals and provide warnings to young journalists who have entered this field.”  
  • Steadfastness Front member Hojjat al-Eslam Qassem Ravanbakhsh said that this front would announce their “final candidate” for the upcoming 2013 presidential election next month:
    • “Some of these candidates [that we reviewed] did not embody the characteristics and values of the Steadfastness Front and we have narrowed down to 3 candidates in our reviews and are slowly presenting a more righteous individual.”
  • Tehran’s Interim Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said that Iran will endure Western pressures and argued that the upcoming presidential elections is the country’s key issue:
    • “You must know this that they [the West] retreat but we will not, it has been 34 years that we are in conflict and we are not worn-out but they will be worn-out and the Supreme Leader has stated that problems will not persist.”
    • Regarding sanctions, he said that “the truth is there is no denying issues emanating from sanctions but this is the price we are willing to pay not to submit to bullying.”
    • “The importance of electing the country’s number two individual is that if this person is not in line with the values of the Islamic system it will be problematic.”
    • “The clergy cannot be indifferent regarding the elections and must certainly enter the scene of elections with attention and posture.”
    • “The president must be anti-Arrogance (anti-Western) because, until the Arrogance’s nose has been rubbed in dirt, the only way is resistance.”
  • MP and IRGC Brigadier General Esmail Kowsari reacted to Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Rafsanjani’s recent statement that Iran’s leadership should agree to negotiations with the US if the US corrects its behaviors:
    • “It is not the case that whoever wishes can enter negotiations with the United States because people have truly placed this issue under the authority of the Supreme Leader; his grace Imam Khomeini determined this during his lifetime and currently the Supreme Leader will also determine [this issue].”
    • “Whenever the Supreme Leader deems negotiations to be in the interest of the people, and whenever the Americans stop bullying and seeking excess and [agree to] enter negotiations as a country and not as a superior country, then this issue is not a problem, but the final decision is with the Supreme Leader.”
    • “Of course, I doubt that [the US] will be able to deviate from this posture with the cockiness and mentality of bullying that exists in American officials…..”
Diplomacy
  • [E] Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati arrived in Pakistan heading an Iranian delegation. Velayti is to meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman of the Senate Nayyar Hussain Bukhari today, deliver a speech at a conference on the Islamic Awakening in Lahore Thursday, and meet with political and religious groups in Karachi and Quetta on Friday.
    • Upon arrival Velayati said, “The creation of division, which is imposed on the Islamic nations by enemies of Islam and the colonialists, paves the way for sectarian wars and ideological conflicts in Muslim countries.”
Military and Security
  • The IRGC Navy began the three-day Fath 91 naval exercise in the 3rd operational zone (near waters off Khuzestan and Bushehr provinces). According to reports, during this operation "operational defense plans based on an asymmetric doctrine and appropriate for current events along with necessary measures for cooperation among forces in various axes" will be implemented.
  • Commander of Imam Hossein University Brigadier General Hossein Zarif-Manesh said Hezbollah and Hamas are following Iran’s defense model and praised Iran’s new role in the Islamic world:
    • “Today Iran is in a new power phase that is reminiscent of the Islamic [golden] civilization era and the system’s geopolitical weight with the defensive thought of Imam [Khomeini] and Supreme Leadership is rare, and our geopolitical sphere has expanded and Iran today has become the leader of all Muslims and even all global freedom lovers.” 
  • Head of Imam Hossein University’s Center for Logistics Research and Studies Abdolrahim Karamat said that the IRGC’s logistical capabilities have been determined to be the strongest of any organization in Iran, stronger than Iran’s leading vehicle manufacturing companies
  • In a press statement the Intelligence Ministry announced that the recent arrested journalists were part of a British-backed media network and has not announced their names due to “the cases’ special sensitivity.”
  • Head of the Artesh Counterintelligence Organization Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Habibian praised the capabilities of his organization:
    • “Today the way to fight the enemy during war has changed from soldiers and ground forces to using electronic devices.”
    • “The enemy is attempting to deny the upgrade of our current capabilities or destroy them by blocking the Islamic Republic’s access to the latest technologies  but capable staff in the Islamic Republic’s army alongside the Intelligence Ministry will take away such opportunity from the enemy.”
Economy
  • The Ahmadinejad administration’s Press Secretary, Gholam Hossein Elham, announced that the government will propose an increase in cash subsidies during next week’s joint Parliamentary-Executive session.
  • Head of the Iran-Italy Industrial and Trade Office said that Italy will be the EU’s largest trading partner with Iran, adding, “This country [Italy] is seeking to increase the level of trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Picture of the Day
  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Hassan Khomeini visit the tomb of Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.