Iran News Round Up - October 7, 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.
- Principlist MP and father-in-law to Supreme Leader Khamenei's son, Mojtaba, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel praised President Rouhani’s New York travel as “in line with the system," adding, "All must obey these positions and opinions." Regarding relations with the United States, he said, “It is too early at the moment to introduce these questions because [we must wait until] American officials prove their honesty to us.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Vice-Chairman MP Mansour Haghighat Pour claimed that two-thirds of MPs receive targeted subsidies and said, “I believe that subsidies should not be paid to society’s [affluent] sectors…”
- Minister of Justice Mostafa Pour Mohammadi announced that the SNSC is reviewing the cases of jailed 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi and that the trend of “freeing political and security prisoners will continue.”
- NSFP member and former senior IRGC Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari criticized recent statements by former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who criticized the lengthening of governors’ terms and said, “Such opinions are a grand mistake and will never be acceptable.”
- Head of the National Inspections Organization Nasser Saraj announced that the former Managing Directors of Melli Bank, Saderat Bank and Maskan Bank will soon be tried simultaneously for economic crimes.
- Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) and Lebanon Islamic Resistance yesterday buried the body of operative Ali Na’meh Haj Ali AKA “Zolfaghar,” who was “martyred while performing his jihadi duty on Syrian soil.” LH Executive Council Deputy Sheikh Nabil Qaouk attended the funeral ceremony as well.
- In Iraq, Najaf Friday Prayer Leader Sadreddin Ghabanchi described increased Iraq-Iran military cooperation as a “correct step.”
- Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani met with head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Seyyed Ammar al-Hakim and discussed the “third wave of terrorism”:
- “Despite the statements of the officials of countries affecting international trends and their widespread propaganda regarding the field of combating terrorism, no will to confront this ominous and destructive phenomenon is seen on the international stage.”
- “The Islamic Republic of Iran will continuously stand with the Iraqi government and people. It is prepared to upgrade the level of practical cooperation in economic and cultural areas to strengthen stability and security and expand comprehensive relations.”
- President Rouhani met with Germany’s new ambassador to Iran Michael von Ungern in Tehran to indicate his hopes that the country would be able to play a positive role in achieving a resolution to the nuclear issue in upcoming talks. Rouhani also congratulated Chancellor Merkel on her re-election and hoped for relations to grow between Iran and Europe, stating, “We hope that relations between Iran and the European Union can move closer and forward in the future.”
- President Rouhani also met with the new Dutch Amabassador Johannes Douma in Tehran, emphasizing that Iran understands its nuclear rights within the framework of the NPT and is ready to negotiate with the P5+1 within that framework to quickly resolve the issue in order it could widen its relations with European nations like the Netherlands in political, cultural, and economic areas. The president also criticized sanctions against Iran as a violation of human rights, saying “We should all be careful that human rights do not become a political issue. Ambassador Douma reportedly announced the support of his own country for the development and widening of relations and cooperation in all areas.
Military and Security
- Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Intelligence Ministry recently arrested four individuals officials allege were planning to sabotage Iran’s nuclear facilities.
- Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi announced, “The filter on these sites [Facebook and Twitter] will not be lifted and they will remain in the same condition.” When asked about the status of officials who possess Facebook accounts he said, “Ask them.”
- Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff IRGC Maj. Gen, Gholam Ali Rashid led a panel of expert military advisers, including IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami, IRGC Navy Commander Ali Fadavi, and IRGC Navy Region Three Commander Seifollah Bakhtiavand. Rashid said the most important plan was checking the capabilities and readiness of his soldiers, evaluating the training and composition of patrols, missiles, and marines, evaluating technical and support preparedness, and reviewing repairs and technology of the IRGC Navy in the north of the Persian Gulf. He also emphasized continued unity and cooperation between IRGC Navy patrols in their operations and training.
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani spoke to the new future of nuclear negotiations during a joint press conference with the Serbian Speaker of Parliament:
- “I think that the nuclear issue can be resolved through negotiations, but everyone must note that the negotiations are taking place under new conditions, and it is only in a few cases that the negotiations will be effective.”
- He elaborated, “In President Rouhani’s recent trip to New York, these conditions were provided in order to make the negotiations process active, and the nuclear issue can be solved within this space.”
- “They can use Iran and Europe’s extant capabilities in order to resolve a complex issue.” Larijani also thanked the Serbian Speaker for coming, and said he hoped political and economic relations and cooperation between the countries would continue to grow.”
- Chief of Staff to the President Mohammad Nahavandian said, “The series of reviews and consultations that took place before and after the election at the Administration Economic Headquarters prepared the groundwork to reduce inflation and create stability and equanimity in the country’s economy.”
- Head of the Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Eshagh stated that more than 75% of Iran’s economic issues are internal and only 15-25% are related to “international issues.” He added, “If we expect that Iran’s economy will be freed from all issues by resolving international relations, then it is a useless expectation.”
- Answering recent allegations that development funds are diverted to fund the targeted subsidies program [Instead of directly subsidizing products, the government transfers that amount in the form of cash directly to a citizen's account whose income is below a certain amount] former Targeted Subsidies Secretary Mohammad Reza Farzin said, “One of the resources for paying the families’ subsidies is the reform of energy transport prices and other rows that have not been defined in the budget. Each of these two sources have been legally predicted and current ambiguity regarding monetary sources results from budget rows. One of the defined rows for cash payment of subsidies is the appropriated subsidy to flour, bread and electricity.”
Photo of the Day
- Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Special Operations Unit Commander Brig. Gen. Hassan Karami and LEF Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Radan attend an LEF special operations unit parade ceremony.