Iran News Round Up - November 6, 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 and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributor John Lesnewich. 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.

Politics

  • Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani expressed his support for negotiations and offered his interpretation: 
    • “One of the everlasting and eternal messages of Ashura is that a human must never abjectly surrender himself to the enemy.”
    • “[Supporting the administration in negotiations] means that we must not show weakness against the enemy. The necessity of avoiding an expression of weakness is not only in words, but also in the country's strength from within.”
    • We are not optimistic towards the behavior of the Americans in negotiations, but recent nuclear dialogues will certainly have positive results. The worst result of negotiations at the current level is that there will be an ultimatum on some inside and outside of the country and the excuse for incorrect propaganda and excuse-seeking against our country will be closed.”
  • 150 MPs signed a letter to the President urging him to intervene in some of Science Minister Reza Farji Nia's appointments: “We are concerned that such behaviors will tarnish the currently clear and positive relations between the Parliament and the administration and may cause the emergence of reactions that will not result in anything other than creating problems for the administration and the current coalition.” 
  • Following a confrontation between security forces' and the daughters of jailed 2009 presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, five MPs warned Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi about “the lack of transparency” regarding the events of that day.  
  • President Hassan Rouhani appointed Minister of the Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli Head of the Supreme National Security Council's National Security Council, and said “It is hoped that this council, as an arm of the capabilities of the Supreme National Security Council, can play a role in preserving the achievements of the regime by observing the principles of law, a moderate orientation, and government ethics policy.” In addition to his ministerial post and heading Iran’s top security decision-making body, Rahmani Fazli is also Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Deputy to the Law Enforcement Forces.
  • President Hassan Rouhani also spoke to the influence and importance of Ashura for the country:
    • “Today, in their perseverance and stance against various plots, the Iranian people remember Ashura. Of course, we must pay attention to all dimensions of these events. Ashura is not only jihad, sacrifice, and personal honor, but also behavior, moderation, forgiveness, and tolerance.”
    • “Ashura has many lessons for the nation of Iran and human society, all of which we must consider. Today, without a doubt the culture of Ashura will be the best model, and if individual and societal life is modeled upon Ashura and its lessons, we will achieve happiness and eminence.”  
  • A number of organizations issued their condolences to honor the passing of Habibollah Asgaroladi [see INR Nov. 5]:

Diplomacy

Military and Security

  • Zabol Attorney General Mousa Nouri Ghalehnou and his driver were killed this morning in Zabol, Sistan va Baluchestan province by unknown armed individuals. Ghalehnou was on his way to work when the gunmen attacked him in front of Zabol’s Amir al-Mo’menin Hospital. 
  • Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council [SNSC] and Representative of the Supreme Leader to the SNSC Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani met with a number of press and news directors. All expressed their condolences on the passing of influential conservative Habibollah Asgaroladi and discussed the key role of the media in “producing soft power”:
    • “Aspects of the media in the movement of Imam Hossein [3rd Shi’a Imam] are an excellent model for media companions. In the framework of this model, characters like ‘Hur’ [ibn Yazi al-Tamimi, General of the Ummayad army dispatched to intercept Hossein, who then later defected] are created.”
    • “In the media approach of the Lord of Martyrs [Imam Hossein] there is no hostility given to opposing sides, and with the adoption of flexibilities it is possible to avoid wars while preserving a brave and honorable spirit.”
    • “We consider state and non-state media groups to be an immediate colleague and we will try, in a new space whose primary characteristics are trust and cooperation, to take serious, strong and continuous steps by activating the groups’ capabilities to produce soft power.” 
  • Head of IRGC Public Affairs and Support of the Intifada and Quds Headquarters Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Ramazan Sharif reacted to the Supreme Leader’s Sunday speech and said current negotiations will end to Iran’s benefit with or without resolution:
    • “The studies that we have conducted of the behavior of the Americans in diplomatic interactions and encounters show that they, despite paying attention to their interests, are seeking to have capabilities to confront their sides of negotiation. In other words, what is understandable for the Americans is the logic of strength and power.”
    • “If they feel that their opposing negotiations side enters from a position of weakness, not only are they unwilling to give any points, but rather will insolently clash.”
    • “In the past, the Americans could threaten and entice large populations with the movement of a naval fleet, but the present trend has changed. Certainly in the new circumstances, that awareness and tact governs our policy makers. The negotiations team, with the support of the system, God willing, we hope will force the Americans to let go of that chest-beating position. And in a position equivalent to it give in to what the sacred system of the Islamic Republic pursues.”
    • “If the Americans pursue that past trend in reality, certainly this will be an ultimatum for our public opinion and the system of global public opinion to the benefit of the Islamic Revolution.” 
  • Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri discussed US-Iran relations in a speech on the anniversary of the 1979 hostage crisis this past Monday in Ahvaz:
    • “ [August 19, 1953] we witnessed the American-English coup d’etat to strengthen the Pahlavi regime against the people’s popular desire. America attempts to continue its illegitimate interest in plundering Iran.”
    • “From this date until [February 1979] when the Islamic Revolution achieved victory, Iran’s important government matters were administered by the Americans, and therefore tens of thousands of American counselors had a completely effective presence in the highest levels of the Shah’s regime.”
    • “At this time, the Shah’s government was from one side the guardian of America’s illegitimate interests in the region and from another was the guardian of the usurper Zionist regime. So from this side Iran was hated among Arab and Islamic countries.”
    • “The security and intelligence services of America and Israel took the greatest measures to preserve the imperial dynasty. America had many roles in the martyrdom, death and torture of revolutionary fighters. Due to the presence of America, England and Israel in Iran, our country fell decades behind from true progress and sciences and we are still paying the price of that dark era.”
    • “[After the revolution], America increased its espionage measures and placed nationalism and liberalism against Islam and revolution.”
    • “If America says it does not seek overthrow, it must prove it [and] its truthfulness be tested. It must execute confidence-creating measures and show in action that [it has changed], pay the damages inflicted against Iran and apologize in the presence of God, the Iranian nation and the international community.”
    • “However, Global Arrogance [the West] considers Islam and Iran’s revolutionary thought as the largest obstacle to the expansion of its domain and has therefore taken the path of war and sedition against the Islamic Revolution.”  
  • IRGC Navy Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Tangsiri spoke about increased Iranian naval power at a ceremony for the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam [former “chief of Iran’s ballistic missile program” before being killed in an explosion in November 2011]:
    • “Today, if we call the Americans in the sea or Strait of Hormuz, they respond to us with their nationality and number of boats, which is thanks to the martyrs and their blood. Today, if one of our ships, with one one thousandth the [power] of their ships, advances and says ‘I am from the IRGC’ that ship with all its greatness will submit. Film of this exists, and we have not even published some of it.”
    • “We know that God has put the fear of Islamic soldiers in the hearts of the enemies when we put the American soldiers up against our children and their feet became ragged and we understood that their clothes had been wet. This is due to the fear that God put in their heart. When these Americans wanted to go, their soldiers who were two meters tall, lowered their heads in shame.”
    • “During the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq War], our warriors pushed back against the physical arms of the enemy, and today our officers [do so] in the soft war with pens, viewpoints, and  media.”  

Nuclear Issue

Economy

  • Chief of Staff to the President Mohammad Nahavandian described the administration’s policies to reestablish global economic relations, including with American companies:
    • “With respect to the country’s economic-diplomatic organ, new opportunities have emerged for Iranian relations with the international community and the psychological environment of the past has been broken.”
    • “In addition to activities in export, engineering, and technical services, the groundwork for economic and technical cooperation and partnership with the rest of foreign countries inside the country will be created.”
    • “In the Water and Electricity Exhibition, the partnership of European and American countries indicate that these companies have no limitation to return to the country’s energy and economy industry.”
    • Nahavandian added that “economic resistance does not mean isolation."
    • “Likewise, Iran can be an axis of electricity production in the region. Currently, a great number of neighbors are interested in collaborating with Iran in the production, transfer, and consumption of electricity. A country with the greatest known energy reserves in the world can create many job opportunities.”
    • “There are issues connected to world and regional energy. We must not become limited to national borders, and this thinking can create greater international cooperation.”
    • “To become free from oil reliance, we must shape new connections in parts of our imports and exports.” 
  • Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani discussed targeted subsidies and reacted to the Supreme Leader’s Sunday speech:
    • “It was planned for 50% of targeted subsidies to be spent on problems and the rest expended on expansion, production and resolving the issues of patients. However, not only was that 50% not fulfilled, but also no attention was given to expansion or production.”
    • “The Supreme Leader said a few days ago that attention to the country’s national production ability and booming production is a principle. On this basis, we must learn from his statements and the analysis of past situations.”
    • “One of the problems of the labor community is unemployment insurance. This matter is necessary for the country’s expansion and unemployment insurance is one of the country’s future pillars of expansion and it will create psychological peace for the country.”

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