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.
(E) = Article in English
Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to earlier criticism by IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari:
- “His opinion is respected although I have negotiated more and do not have this belief. I believe that what we have achieved has been notable.”
- “Some said I do not have qualification but I say I have taught international security for twenty years and have read America’s security documents. The concern of America is not from our weapons rather it is of our nation, meaning if they strike our weapons we will rebuild again. This is very important because if we do not understand the bases of our own government we will add to the power of the opposing side and the slogans of the revolution are based on this reality.”
- He added, “America’s concern is not our weapons [rather] it is our nation. The largest obstacle to America is the people’s self-belief and culture of self-sacrifice and martyrdom that we cannot change this capital with weapons.”
- Zarif then pledged to “state Iran’s strong position with diplomatic language” in the upcoming negotiations.
- President Hassan Rouhani appointed Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Sadegh Salehi Manesh Governor of Qom. Salehi Manesh was founder and commander of the IRGC’s Vali-ye Amr Protection unit, responsible for the security of the Supreme Leader, from 1986-1993 and subsequently held several posts in the Intelligence Ministry, including Arab Countries Managing Director and Head of Election Headquarters.
- Head of the Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission MP Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam responded to recent allegations that the Parliament is confronting the administration and said, “I imagine that such positions are political blackmail.” He then criticized the Rouhani budget for projecting oil prices of $100 per barrel as “against caution” and “risky” and added that the proposed budget does not seek to reduce significant dependency on oil revenue.
- Tasnim News Agency republished a 2009 interview with prominent Reformist strategist and former Intelligence official Saeed Hajjarian, in which he discussed the causes of the “2009 sedition.” Hajjarian was imprisoned at the time of the interview:
- He attributed several causes, including “illegal orders and the unlicensed call of [then-candidate Mir Hossein] Mousavi for gathering and marchers,” and “the weakness of the Intelligence Minister in managing the crisis.”
- “The existence of some embassy elements among protesters and also elements who had seen the necessary training for soft overthrow.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- One Iranian was killed and fourteen were wounded in a “terrorist attack” in Balad, Iraq. Hajj and Pilgrimage Agency Hajj, Umrah and Holy Shrines Deputy Nasser Khadarnejad advised “all pilgrims to refrain from going to Samarra” during the Shi’a commemoration of Arbaeen [40th day after Ashura] and “only travel to the cities of Najaf, Karbala and Kazemein per the planning of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Agency.”
- Al-Qaeda affiliate Jubhat al-Nusrah claimed responsibility for the car bombing in Baalbek, Lebanon, yesterday that wounded two Lebanese Hezbollah members.
- Iran Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei pledged Tehran’s support to “strengthen stability and security in Afghanistan” and emphasized the exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and requested increased material support to Afghan security forces after their departure. Khazaei also noted that the groundwork for the return of millions of Afghan refugees in Iran to their home must be prepared.
- Armenia joined Turkey and Pakistan in criticizing Iranian natural gas export prices, claiming it to be “four times the price” of Russian natural gas.
Military and Security
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari addressed Imam Hossein University’s Officer and IRGC Training school commanders and directors:
- “The mission of guarding the revolution and its achievements changes at any historical point and understanding changes and its causes differs in an organization correspondent with threats.”
- “The coach must see the situations and organize trainings correspondent with threats. If teaching and training of forces do not correspond to threats, then it will not have a desired and effective result in the scene of action and might impose heavy costs.”
- “The IRGC is bound to confront any threat that causes the Islamic Revolution to face danger.”
- “Coaches and professors are the guiders of the IRGC’s youthful force and future guardians. The capability and effect of the IRGC in all scenes is due to utilization of faithful, aware, flexible and doctrinally oriented guardians, and our enemies are deprived of such a potential. For change in the system, the necessary measures must be adopted from that same recruitment and selection.”
- In a separate speech addressing IRGC Airports and Ansar Protection unit, Maj. Gen. Jafari discussed the need to confront bioterrorism and “laser terrorism”:
- “Observing the values of the revolution and attention to the people are part of the fundamental behavioral characteristics of the IRGC in any situation, which, thanks be to God, this matter is evident in your behavior like an undeniable truth and is appreciated by the people and officials.”
- “We must continuously dominate the intelligence capabilities of the enemies and also their tools and methods.”
- “Bioterrorism, laser terrorism and various modern and traditional methods must be continuously identified and observed and the precise method of confronting them must be on the agenda.”
- IRGC Quds Base Public Relations announced the deaths of three IRGC “engineering employees” after their vehicle struck “explosive material left by bandits and smugglers” by Saravan, Sistan va Baluchestan province, near the Pakistani border.
- “One of the defenders of the wife of Bani Hashem Seyyeda Zeynab [shrine]” Basij member Abolfazl Shiravanian was buried in Isfahan earlier today “after being martyred in Syria during battle with takfiri terrorists.” Shiravanian is the son of Foundation for the Preservation and Publication of Sacred Defense Works and Values Isfahan Province Managing Director Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Mojtaba Shiravanian.
- Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi appointed former Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Heydar Moslehi to Head of the Organization for the Publication and Preservation of the Works and Values of Clerics Participating in the Sacred Defense.
- A source close to the Iranian negotiations team announced that Iran and P5+1 technical negotiations will resume tomorrow in Geneva at 1500 local time. Iran left last week’s technical negotiations following the enforcement of existing sanction provisions by the United States against nineteen Iranian individuals and companies.
- Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission member MP Esmail Jalili announced that the Parliament and the administration have yet to reach an agreement on eliminating targeted subsidies to high income population. He praised the administration’s efforts in managing “causes of outside pressure” and noted that lack of confidence in the government’s economic policies have been eroded. Jalili also criticized the Rouhani budget in that its 34% reduction in credit for civil projects has not been equally distributed among provinces.
- In a report, the Parliament Research Center evaluated the recent proposal to increase natural gas prices for the petrochemical industry five fold from 70 tomans [approximately 2 cents] to 325 tomans [approximately 13 cents] as “reasonable” due to 63% export profits generated from artificially low prices. More than 65% of Iranian petrochemical product exports are primary ingredients to advanced petrochemical industries in countries such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Germany.
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