Iran news round up December 16, 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 contributors John Lesnewich and Mehrdad Moarefian.

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.

Politics

 

Diplomacy

  • Former Iraqi Transitional Government Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari visited Iran to meet with Iranian officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, with whom he discussed bilateral relations between the countries. Jafari strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Iraq and asked for Iran’s help as a “neighboring and influential regional country…. Today, no one can ignore Iran’s role as a powerful and active country in regional and global developments, as well as in the process of resolving issues and crises.”
    • Zarif agreed that the terrorist attacks were a regional issue and said “There is a need for cooperation and consultation between the regional countries in order to confront the doubling of terrorism.”

 

Military and Security

  • Head of the Kerman Province Representatives Society Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi provided further details of a purported MI6 operative arrested in Kerman on December 14, 2013, and said, “In the past this problem has existed. Traitors from Iran were captivated in the trap of foreign intelligence services.” Zahedi added that a judge will issue a verdict soon after “the confession of the defendant.”
  • Head of the Passive Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali announced, “Threats in the cyber arena have expand and affect national security. From this aspect, we are witnessing the expansion of information technology according to the [national] fourth and fifth expansion plan. In a sense, it can be said that the country’s national resources have changed nature from a physical to a cyber nature over the past five years.”
  • IRGC Mohammad Rasulollah Unit (Greater Tehran) Coordination Deputy Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Mohammad Reivandi announced the holding of Beit ol-Moghaddas and Kowsar battalions exercises in Tehran. He then provided details on the Imam Hossein and Imam Ali battalions that comprise the IRGC Tehran unit. The former is related to defense matter while the latter is an internal security unit whose specialty “is defending and securing the city’s security.” Reivandi also added, “Of course if needed, the IRGC and Basij will enter and the Basij will help anywhere that is needed. Basij checkpoints are established and we do not plan to close them. If a special event occurs, our checkpoints will become active, but, other than this, a weekly regular plan will take place in neighborhoods.”

 

Nuclear Issue

  • Foreign Minister Zarif posted a short message to his Facebook in which he said the “US took inappropriate actions,” but that Iran “is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations and will show a suitable, targeted, and wise reaction to any unsuitable and unconstructive action (even if it is not a violation of the agreement).” Zarif noted that “negotiations have many ups and downs, but we expected this from day one.” He also attempted to ease worries about the relative silence surrounding the process, but noted that this “silence is for the national interest, and in due time, all uncertainties will be answered.”
  • NSFP Parliamentary Commission Member Mohammad Hassan Asfari noted a disagreement between leadership over whether an MP should join the negotiations team in order to provide Parliament with more information during the negotiations process: “[FM] Zarif has announced his own agreement with the presence of an MP on the nuclear negotiations team, but it is established that President Hassan Rouhani, as head of the Supreme National Security Council, announced his opposition to the issue, but has not stated his reasons.”

 

Economy

  • CEO of the Petrochemical Commercial Company Moustafa Tehrani Sefa said that the rising number of petrochemical companies is creating a number of issues and that exports had decreased since last year, but said that some Arabs “want to invest their extra funds, and have presented a proposal of joint investments.” He added that the goods exchange needs to be reformed and “the Manufacturing Ministry’s pricing mechanism completely eliminated.”
  • IRGC organ Sobh-e Sadegh Weekly examined some of the 2013-2014 budget’s characteristics including its planned decrease of the inflation rate, increase in workers’ wages, and need to sell more oil.

 

Photo of the Day

By Iran Tracker 

 

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