Iran News Round Up - October 9, 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

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei emphasized scientific advancement and Iran’s role as a regional power while addressing a gathering of 1,000 elite university students:
    • “Young Iranian intellectuals can take the country to the absolute peaks of progress.”
    • “In this article [to Western intellectuals at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution] it was warned that Iran’s Islamic Revolution does not signify a change in the ruling board, but rather the victory of the Islamic Revolution means the emergence of a new power in Western Asia that is able to free this sensitive and rich region from Western domination, weaken their dominance, and challenge the Western world scientifically and technologically.”
    • “After the passing of three decades, the nightmare of the Westerners and the Americans has turned into reality and a great regional and national power has emerged that various political, economic, security and propaganda pressures cannot overthrow. This great power can have a great effect on regional nations and give identity to Muslims.”
    • “These events [Arab Spring] were a historical turn that the region is currently passing through. Its destiny has not been determined yet and the Westerners are concerned about these events.”
    • “These important events are due to the blessing of the Islamic Revolution that, from the beginning, brought the good tiding of a nationalist, deep, faithful, stable, talent and growing power.” 
  • Justice Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour Mohammadi announced that “[security and political prisoners] who have served a third or half of their confinement and have had good behavior in prison” will be released on Eid-e Ghadir, October 22, 2013.  He added that, going forward, only the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) will provide further details on the cases of jailed 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi
  • In an interview with Ghanoon newspaper, National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hossein criticized “extremist media” for publishing what they claimed was Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif’s regret regarding President Rouhani’s telephone conversation with President Barack Obama and Zarif’s “lengthy” meeting with John Kerry:
    • In my opinion, this type of outlook [that Iran must not have any relations with the United States] is contrary to the Supreme Leader’s opinion because the Supreme Leader has announced ‘I will support the administration’s diplomatic movements’ and considers these movements to be positive. The Supreme Leader’s support of this diplomacy is a strong support for the administration. The administration can utilize this support to the fullest.”
    • “Various beliefs exist. Some believe that [we] must not negotiate with the United States and some say these negotiations are possible…. I have not evaluated the median of the people’s outlook.”
    • “The Eleventh Administration is in a situation where if the West does not show that this administration’s measures are correct, it will face difficult opposition in the future…. The West must show that this approach [from Rouhani] is correct. In reality, the West must take steps in this regard, because if these measures are not undertaken, extremist groups prove that America is untrustworthy and a criminal, and public opinion will accept the extremists’ argument….” 
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to statements by the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission: “My stances are completely clear. The trip to New York was a great victory for our system, and I did not allow the achievements of the Iranian delegation’s trip to New York to be altered.” Asked about Kayhan’s claim that he said the trip was a mistake Zarif responded, “We have denied this issue.” 
  • Administration Spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht announced that last week President Rouhani issued an order to poll public opinion regarding his travel to New York. Principlists criticized the order because they claim polls regarding matters of national security are not “expedient.”
  • Tehran MP Bijan Noubaveh expressed his disapproval with the public poll on negotiations with America:
    •  “A poll in connection to negotiations between Iran and America is a trick, ruse, deception, and betrayal of the country.”
    • “What is import is the values, models, and goals of the Islamic Revolution. A poll like this type that puts the Revolutionary values to the side is deviant.”
    • Noubaveh also addressed the issue of use of the ‘death to America’ slogan, “’Death to America’ means ‘Death to Satan.’ Whenever we can eliminate ‘I seek refuge in God from the accursed Devil’ [a common expression recited before reading the Quran], we can also think of eliminating ‘Death to America.’” 
  • Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard said that America needs to repair its relations with Iran in order to solve its many regional problems:
    • “America is facing many serious challenges in this region such that the US President also indicated this to the [UN] General Assembly in his speeches and he explicitly announced that, until recently, 180,000 Americans were in vulnerable points, and still are, and that they cannot continue this situation.”
    •  “In these developments, Iran has a very key role, such that the US President frankly announced that they must solve their nuclear issues with Iran, and that the resolution of this issue has serious effects on their problems, the region, and the Horn of Africa.” 
  • Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi talked about issues related to Israeli influence in the US:
    • “Zionists prevent the progress of negotiations by [creating] barriers and difficult conditions.”
    • “Zionists have control of the American Congress, and the times Congress has voted on a normalization of relations with Iran, they have played their role in breaking them.” 

Diplomacy

  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal spoke on the phone about the necessity of the two countries working together during Hajj, with Zarif saying “Hajj is a suitable opportunity to crystallize the will of Islamic countries and Muslims in brotherly Islamic principles.” 
  • First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri met with North Korean Minister of Labor Jung Yung Su and emphasized the friendly relations between the countries:
    • “Tehran has stayed faithful to its friendly relations with Pyongyang, and it is interested in widening the level of relations and relationships between the two countries in all areas.”
    • The two also spoke of the American pressure against their countries, with Jahangiri adding, “Iran protects the peaceful and freedom-seeking positions of the nation of North Korea, and we hope that this nation can overcome its present problems.
    • Jung Yung Su reportedly responded, “North Korea is against and condemns the extra-regional, especially American, pressures on Iran.”
  • Central Insurance International Affairs and Reinsurance Deputy Mina Sedigh Nouhi dismissed reports of Iran-India trade ceasing due to failure of Iran to introduce domestic insurances to cover transportation. She said that the Kish and Gheshm insurance companies were introduced by Iran three weeks ago and the Indian Naval Ministry had approved them. The official added that India had suggested several international companies to insure tankers but that Iran did not accept the proposal and requested three months to introduce Iranian insurance companies.   

Military and Security

  • IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stressed that Iran that Iran is now in an economic war and that the IRGC’s efforts in self-sufficiency have prepared Iran to be an exporter of defense materiel:
    • “It has not been explained that, at present, we are truly involved in a full-scale economic war.”
    • “Today the scene of war is economic, and the officers of this war are bankers, producers, and economic firms, all of which are guided by the illuminated guidance of the Supreme Leader.”
    • “We must create resistance in the economic field, and use the talents of the country.”
    • Hajizadeh also said that the enemies do not have a problem with the nuclear issue, but rather with the regime’s fundamental principles: “The principles of the regime are contrary to the enemy. They themselves know that our use of nuclear energy is peaceful, and in reality they do not have a problem with the nuclear issues, but rather with the principles of the regime.”
    • “Praise be to God, today, in the area of defense materiel, our work of jihad has begun, and it is possible to say that we can have a part in the exporting of defense materiel.” 
  • Hajizadeh also spoke about drones and Iran’s intercontinental missile capabilities:
    • “We started building missiles in [1985], and our missiles were not very precise at the time, but today our missiles can hit a point. In the area of drones, our first planes also only flew for 3 kilometers, but today the capability exists to fly to the Occupied Territories [Israel]. Of course, in this area the Shahed-129 is one of tens of drones that can fly to Tel Aviv.”
    • “This drone has a special stealth system that matches the temperature of the plane with the environment, and likewise it makes very little noise. Today this drone has a hand in tens of projects.”
    • On Iran having no need for ICBM’s: “Though today we have the technology to manufacture these missiles, our enemies are close to us so there is no need to spend the high costs.” 
  • IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami discussed electronic warfare capability at the Sixth Iranian National Electronic Warfare Conference on the campus of the IRGC’s Imam Hossein University:
    • “We require the expansion of our power and sphere of influence in the regional and international environment so it can establish a balancing effect.”
    • “The enemy attempts to increase the distance of power between us and hold us back. Blocking the trend of our scientific expansion is executed with this goal because [we] cannot compete with an enemy rich in science and technology without scientific strength. We need to break the enemy’s scientific barriers in the modern science spaces that have a direct effect on the independence, respect and security of Islamic Iran.”
    • Scientific leaps and growth can disarm the enemy, and electronic [warfare] performs an unmatched role in this movement.”
    • “The Electronic field is a young field today and is at the first steps of changing humanity’s features, but it has placed all of humanity’s living condition under its rule such that all phenomena have an electronic nature.”
    • “With this electronic phenomenon, the feature of wars will also be influenced by this arena’s advancements so that when governments interact today they capture the opposing side electronically.”
    • “Thanks to God, we have the necessary infrastructures in this field that we must move in parallel and fly high with foreign powers and our enemies so that we do not fall behind.” 
  • President Hassan Rouhani discussed hejab enforcement at the 32nd  Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) training academy graduation ceremony:
    • “The Law Enforcement Forces have a very diverse set of duties and responsibilities, from traffic and street order to road, parks, public places and all of this country’s important political and economic centers. But at the same time, [the LEF], as the symbol of peace and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s police, is a ‘society-centered’ police.”
    • “We must reach a point in which every neighborhood’s association is responsible for that neighborhood’s security while the police are that society’s support and colleague in security.”
    • “While the police are the symbol of security and removing any threat for the people and society, it is also the symbol of ethics and decorum in Iranian society. Neither the government, the [LEF], nor the police will be the people’s teacher nor will the people be students.”
    • “Our women are in the path of chastity and virtuosity and if a notification is necessary in the matter of hejab, the notification must begin from the school, high school, university, mosques, ulama and the seminaries. The last stage will lead to the police’s notification. The police must not take all of the weight on its shoulders.”

Nuclear Issue

Economy

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