Iran News Round Up January 31, 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

  • Representative of Supreme Leader to the IRGC, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi addressed the coming of the Mahdi [12th Shia Imam]:
    • "The fourth way [of bringing about the arrival of the Mahdi] is by preparing upheaval in the Middle East and so long as there is not total upheaval in Middle East then the Imam of the Era [Mahdi] will not arrive."
    • "Before the arrival of [the Mahdi] we needed a Mahdi government, and the Iranian Islamic Revolution was along the path of the arrival of Imam of the Era."
  • Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher-Qalibaf commented on the 2+1 coalition formed to determine a single principlist candidate for the presidency, of which he is a member:
    • "It does not seem that the necessity of cooperation and unity, which has been continuously emphasized by Imam [Khomeini] and the Supreme Leader and is desired by the people, needs further explanation or emphasis."
    • "We believe that in order to jump to the status that is befitting of the country and its people we have no option other than to move wisely and in unity based on a plan for realization of progress and justice. This comprehensive and systematic project must be presented to the nation beforehand, and after their vote and its confirmation, a total mobilization of capabilities and experienced and efficient teams will be implemented."
    • "The three member coalition of principlists has been formed based on this principle and is close to introducing the most qualified, acceptable, and capable choice in the current sensitive situation."
  • Top political figures attended the funeral of Hassan Habibi, vice-president of Iran from 1989-2004 and a leading politician, who passed away early on Thursday. 

Diplomacy

  • Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati said during his meeting with Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Nayyar Hussain Bukhari that Iran considers support for Pakistan a "strategic policy." He added, “We hope that… more grounds will be provided for the unity of the Islamic Ummah as the power of the Islamic world in the future depends on the unity of the Islamic Ummah.”
  • SNSC Secretary Said Jalili, FM Ali Akbar Salehi, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad separately met Omani FM Yusuf bin Alawi in Tehran to discuss relations between the two countries and developments in the region.
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and North African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian attended an international conference in Kuwait on the Syrian refugee crisis and announced that Iran would provide $200 million in financial assistance to "the people of Syria."

Military and Security

  • Law Enforcement Commander Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam accused the West of seeking to create instability and said that sedition will not happen again:
    • "The enemy will attempt to create instability on the eve of elections, but with the awareness of officials, security and armed forces and responsible institutions [those efforts] will go nowhere, and elections will be held in a secure environment."
    • "The sedition that was in motion with the enemy's actions will not happen again with the lesson that people learned and denying seditioners."
  • Head of the Basij Organization Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi said that the IRGC will transform the enemy's [West's] hopes to despair:
    • "The Revolutionary Guards have been an effective current in preserving the Islamic revolution and by obstructing the enemies' advances they have been a thorn at their side."
    • "The Revolutionary Guards have continuously turned the enemy's hopes to despair, therefore the enemy's main task has been attacking the primary institutions of the system, such as the Revolutionary Guards, but praise God that the vigilant Iranian nation has been cognizant of the nature of this attack and do not care about it." 
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and North African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian warned that the Israeli airstrike in Syria may carry severe consequences, adding, "The Zionist regime should not be overconfident because of the Patriot Air Defense systems deployed in the region, since [this system] has proven its ineffectiveness in the recent eight-day war in Gaza."

Economy

  • Iran inaugurated a new refinery in Abadan that will allow the country to begin exporting jet and airplane fuel and to increase total gasoline production by two million liters, for a total production capacity of 14.1 million liters. 
  • Head of the Parliament's Article 90 Commission, which addresses complaints of government performance, Mohammad Ali Pour Mokhtar acknowledged that "before [July] our daily oil export was 2.5 million barrels but today it has become 1 million barrels."
  • Deputy Oil Minister Javad Owji said regarding the so-called Iran-Pakistan "peace pipeline": “Aside from a 250-million-dollar loan, Iran will also provide the supplies and equipment necessary for the construction of the part of the pipeline on Pakistani soil.” He added that Iran will also provide financial aid to Pakistan while private sector Iranian firms begin work on the project.
  • Oil Ministry Spokesman Alireza Nikzad Rahbar said that Iran would begin exporting natural gas to Iraq next summer via a pipeline currently under construction. He added that the “friendship” pipeline between Iran, Iraq, and Syria is the ministry’s most important project.

Picture of the day

  • Anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Tehran in February 1979