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 Mary Ella Simmons.
- President-elect Hassan Rouhani attended Quds Day marches and made remarks (earlier widely misquoted by Iranian and Western media):
- “In our region, in the shadow of the occupation of Palestine and dear Quds, a wound has been sitting on the body of the world of Islam, and this is a reminder that the Muslim people have not forgotten their historical right and will stand against oppression and invasion.”
- “In circumstances where the world of Islam is facing problems in the region, Zionists think that this is an appropriate opportunity to show a peace-seeking image of themselves while in reality they continue their invasions and transgressions of the Palestinian land.”
- Expediency Council member Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri attended Quds Day marches in Tehran, urged the people to support Rouhani, discussed the future cabinet and Israel and reacted to recent sanctions:
- “Today, Quds Day ceremonies are held in many of the world’s countries and, God willing, with Islamic unity, this cancerous tumor will be eliminated.”
- “Based on reports, [cabinet] appointments have been fair and rational.”
- “They imagine that with increasing pressure, they can [force] Iran to return from its path but with attention to the thirty-four year record of Hojjat al-Eslam Rouhani, he has demonstrated that he will be loyal to the revolution’s ideals.”
- Former Intelligence Minister and early Rouhani supporter Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Younesi stated, “The most important message [of Quds Day] is that the next administration must act on the promises it has given to the people, and the people’s support for any administration is conditional to the administration moving in the people’s path.” He also announced his full support of Rouhani, but added that he did not expect “a special place” to be given to him.
- MP Hojjat al-Eslam Mousa Qazanfar Abadi announced, “If the Parliament is revolutionary, it must not be silent regarding [former President Mohammad] Khatami’s presence during [Rouhani’s] inauguration, because Khatami has not repented and is considered one of the leaders of sedition.”
- Conservative MP Ali Motahari reacted to recent American sanctions and said, “The behavior of the American Congress is somewhat contradictory. They had planned to postpone sanctions, but they again had a new resolution for oil and other sanctions. In any case, the Americans look [toward Iran]. We must wait for the new administration to come and see what behavior it will have with the Americans.”
- Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani attended Quds Day marches and said, “So long as the Palestinian people are under the heaviest pressures of the Zionist regime, [one] cannot talk of peace…. We are certain that the day global Islamic unity will have its affect and dear Quds will be liberated.”
- Head of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attended Quds Day marches and said, “This march belongs to Palestine and supporters of the world’s Muslims, for Palestinian ideals and for Islamic countries, and it has religious and national dimensions.“
- Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjari also attended and said, “Occupiers of Palestine must certainly know that injustice is terminal and a day will come when they will be forced to return the land of Palestine to its main owners.”
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized peace talks between Israel and Palestine and said that the only way to resolve the Palestinian issue is “resistance.”
- Qom Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Saidi stated, “Quds Day is for the liberation of Palestine and no one has a right to compromise on this [issue].”
- Head of the National Inspectorate Organization Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour Mohammadi discussed the February 13 disruption of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani’s speech in Qom and said that such events “must never be repeated because everything [negative] emerges from division.”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- Following the fall of gas prices on the global market, Iran, Russia and Qatar reached an agreement for stabilizing global gas prices.
- Iranian ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani met with Syrian Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, who expressed appreciation for the Iranian government and Majles for their protection of the Syrian people by strengthening and continuing the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
- Laham assessed the trend of recent political events in Syria as positive and as benefiting the government and people of Syria. He also indicated that the economic aid given to Syria by Iran was one of the basic factors for the persistence and resistance of the Syrian people and a reason for their recent victories. He expressed his hope that the inauguration of Rouhani would usher in an era of even better relations between the two countries.
- Sheibani in turn expressed his hope that the people of Syria, with the help of Syria’s true friends, would overcome the current critical situation and that stability and security would be restored to Syria.
- Bahrain National Islamic Wefaq Society member Ramleh Abdolhamid announced the possibility of a state of emergency for the August 14 national demonstrations against the Khalifa regime.
Military and Security
- Armed Forces General Staff Khatam ol Anbia Passive Defense Base Inspection Deputy IRGC BG Mohammad Jafar Assadi commented on regional issues:
- “Today, looking at the region, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bahrain, we find that the comfort that we have [in Iran] is indebted to the martyrs. Otherwise that same bomb that explodes in Baghdad today should be exploding in Tehran. These bombs have been prepared for our nation.”
- “The Americans have not come from the other side of the world to take Iraq, which they lost, or to free Kuwait, Kuwait was also theirs, and Saudi Arabia is also one of the corrupt servants of America. The Americans have come because of Iran, but we see that under the shadow of the velayat-e faghih how much respect Iran is given.”
- “The Muslim Brotherhood was able to keep Egypt from the claws of Hosni Mubarak for one year, but the absence of velayat-e faghih caused them to be eradicated before another year could pass.”
- “It’s been three years that all of Global Arrogance has conspired to remove Bashar Assad, but since the hand of Bashar Assad is the hand of the velayat-e faghih, the arrogance does not have the power to destroy these youth [fighting in Syria]…. The Global Arrogance wants to take our lives and oppress us. We are not warring people, but when we see that war is transpiring, all of the people, men and women, old and young, will resist. Over the years this nation has shown that it stands against Global Arrogance.”
- IRGC Commander MG Ali Jafari attended Quds Day marches in Tehran but did not make any statements. Jafari also attended Friday prayer in Tehran.
- Before joining street demonstrations in Tehran marking Quds Day, Defense Minister BG Ahmad Vahidi stated that he would find out within the next three days if he has a place in the incoming administration. He then advised Rouhani to implement “economic resistance policies that have been previously explained by the Supreme Leader” to confront sanctions. He also reacted to the recent US House of Representatives sanctions bill, and said:
- “These are desperate measures that the Americans are pursuing…. America implementing new sanctions against Iran demonstrates the contradiction of their slogans. They apparently say that they oppose Iran having nuclear technology, but what their [actions] have not had any relation to nuclear energy and the nuclear issue. The Americans’ policy is anti-Iranian and they seek to prevent the growth and progress of the Iranian nation, but fortunately they have not succeeded yet.”
- “Sanctions have only made the Iranian nation even more resolute and have increased the people’s will to cut dependencies and [become] self-sufficient. The Americans cannot force the Iranian nation to surrender with such acts, which is of course a lesson that our nation has given to the Americans during the past thirty some years.”
- On Palestinian-Israeli peace talks: “The existence of a Palestinian resistance and global support of the Palestinian ideal negates any compromise.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi attended Quds Day marches and said that the strategy of the West is preventing Islamic unity, and added, “Domination of oil and gas energy resources, confronting Islam and spreading the culture of Christianity and preventing global Islamic movement are other important goals of the hegemonic powers…. Creating division between religions is also another conspiracy of Arrogance in the Middle East.”
- Senior Military Adviser to the Supreme Leader MG Yahya Rahim Safavi said, “The strategy to free Palestine is the continuation of armed jihad and Islamic resistance until the fall of the Zionists, and this is the only strategy to liberate honorable Quds and to return the Palestinians their land and rights.”
- Minister of Intelligence Hojjat al-Eslam Heydar Moslehi praised Quds Day, reacted to recent sanctions, discussed the “leaders of the  sedition,” and the possibility of joining Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s university:
- “We have to pay attention [to the fact that] we are in a special position; such that [when] the new administration is on the eve of going to work, the Americans introduced discussions and demonstrated their nature by the recent resolution in the American Congress…. Our people…have given a message to the Arrogance, that despite all the problems, they will not let go of the resistance.”
- “So long as the leaders of sedition have not determined their obligation with the system, they will not have a place in the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran…. We must never permit [their return] because the seditionists are law breakers. The Supreme Leader has said that the seditionists [should] become law abiders [and in doing so] the system will no longer have a problem with them.”
- “I am not university [educated] rather I am from the seminary, but if it is in the path of righteousness I will help [Ahmadinejad’s new university].”
- Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander BG Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam announced his full support for Rouhani’s administration and commented on the recent Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and sanctions:
- “We will certainly cooperate with the Eleventh Administration. We have no other duties than to try and strengthen the people’s security and society’s obedience to the law. The [LEF] framework is clear we will perform our duties with strength with any administration that comes .”
- “The plan of compromise has been discussed for fifteen years, from ‘Oslo’ to ‘Madrid,’ and has so far not had any results. This measure will not have any results either because the side of Zionism and America does not have any respect for the rights of the Palestinian nation…. The plan of compromise determines the Zionists’ security and it is natural that it will have no results.”
- “Our people are very aware and I do not think that anyone expects that the enemy’s [position] will change with the moderation of the President or [other government] officials. They do not care much about officials. One of their goals is for Quds Day to not exist…. If our president changes, will our positions in defending the nation’s rights change?! We say that they have stood by their positions and it is natural that the more we stand upon our positions, pressures will increase.”
- The Central Bank announced it will stop allocating 1226 Toman [unofficial Iranian curreny] per dollar [rate below the market] for importing goods, because “some wanted to import their goods with a 1226 Toman rate and then, without paying the difference, sell them at market rate price, but the Central Bank, by law, will not allow this.” Rouhani reportedly plans to prevent any price increase in primary goods by continuing the trend of importing goods with the reference rate.
- According to Customs Agency statistics, the Iranian trade balance has been positive with eighty-four countries in the past four months. Primary goods make up the majority of imported products.
By Iran Tracker
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