Iran news round up September 25, 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 Lisnewich. 

 

Politics

Regional Developments

  • Baghdad Shi’a Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Sheikh Jalaleddin al-Qassir praised Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani and said, “Perhaps you may not know Mr. Qassem Suleimani but I and others know him very well…. When I was due for angioplastic heart surgery in a Tehran hospital, he came to visit me [when I had no expectations of him to do so].” He added, “If there is any fear in the Israelis’ hearts, Qassem Suleimani is its cause. If America has faced problems in the region, know that Qassem Suleimani is the cause; if any problems have been created for the House of Saud, know that Qassem Suleimani has had a hand in it. Therefore, know why they have implemented this war against Qassem Suleimani. Know that Qassem Suleimani is a spear that lands in Israel’s hearts and we are proud that there is a leader like him among the current global Shi’a leaders.” Al-Qassir reportedly attended the recent funeral ceremony of Suleimani’s mother in Tehran.
  • The Bahrain Rebellion Movement urged the Bahraini people to participate in an “unprecedented” protest this Friday.

Diplomacy

  • President Hassan Rouhani met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and expressed hope for improving relations and removing sanctions. Minister Westerwelle reportedly welcomed Rouhani’s “constructive approach” and said that “Germany has sought reducing sanctions, and we seek a political and diplomatic solution to this matter.”
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his counterparts from Russia, Germany, Bahrain and Burundi to discuss bilateral relations and the latest international developments.
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani met with Iraqi Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dalimi and stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are placed in one trench today and can take steps to resolve international and regional issues with each other’s help.”

Military and Security

  • Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff MG Hassan Firouzabadi reacted to President Rouhani’s speech in the UN, saying “Once again the Shi’a spiritual rationality, in the form of Iran’s president, shone in the UN”:
    • “Mr. President showed the sincere, revolutionary, valid, and strong stances of the nation of Iran to the world.”
    • “The words of our dear president also had an internal message, in which he said ‘we must not only tolerate our opponents, we must work with them.’”
    • “With this political wisdom, Mr. Rouhani put the Reformist slogans behind, and opened new ways of solidarity, spirit, and national cooperation.”
    • “Today, the global political field examined a politician infused with the wisdom of a religious scholar.”
    • “The world’s elite seek escape from their problems in the Iranian-Islamic framework, and this is a national honor for us.”
  • IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated, “There are deficiencies in cultural and economic fields that will be resolved with the effort of officials and the people in the year of the political epic, because the majority of our people have chosen the path of supporting Islam and the Islamic system and will defend the system’s values.”
  • Senior MIlitary Advisor to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi welcomed President Obama’s speech and praised President Rouhani, but expressed skepticism about the US:
    • “It seems that the Americans have accepted the truth that Iran is a strong and stable country in the region that obeys logical and intelligent methods in confronting its enemies.”
    • “For the first time, Mr. Obama announced as America’s President that ‘we do not want regime change in Iran and respect the Iranian people’s rights to access peaceful nuclear energy’ and this matter proved Iran’s right.”
    • “Of course, Obama’s speech had negative positions, too, like saying current situations only deepen Iran’s isolation and Iran must choose another way for the region and the world. These statements were biting.”
    • “Mr. Hojjat al-Eslam Rouhani also was very intelligent in his speech. He defended Iran’s rights well against violence and extremism and also regarding Iran’s red lines for accessing nuclear energy.”
    • “What political officials at America’s highest level stated to create instability and support groups that pursue social unrest in Iran [1999 student protest and 2009 post-elections protests] are unforgettable. They implemented a media war against our national security.”
    • “We hope that the Americans let go of their intransigence with Iran and become less affected by the Zionist lobby. The Zionists prefer their own interests to America’s interest; therefore, we advise the American government to not listen to the Zionists’ word regarding Iran and not sacrifice themselves, their nation, and their interests for the Zionists’ lobby and their interests and not confront the Islamic world with 1.5 billion Muslims.”
    •  “Mr. Rouhani can perform well in this diplomatic arena. Mr. [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif is an intelligent and trustworthy individual as Foreign Minister who knows American’s literature well and can pursue good positions against Mr. John Kerry.”
  • Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi announced the continuation of releasing political prisoners and said, “God willing, we hope to receive good news regarding this on Eid al-Ghadir [October 22, 2013].”
  • Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam discussed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “heroic flexibility” speech and said, “Some should not misinterpret this Supreme Leader speech, these statements are from a position of power.” Regarding President Rouhani’s pledge to reduce LEF brutality with hejab laws, he said, “Alongside economic priorities that has brought hope back to life in the people’s heart at the beginning of the Eleventh Administration, the President’s special view toward the matter of chastity and hejab is commendable.”

Economy

By Iran Tracker

 

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