Iran news round up January 10, 2014

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team.

Politics

  • Human Rights Secretary for the Judiciary Mohammad Javad Larijani called the 2009 protests “a crime and coup d’etat against the regime,” compared the nuclear agreement to Resolution 598, and criticized the US for “violating the Geneva agreement”:
    • “My departure from the Foreign Ministry had no connection with Resolution 598 [UN Resolution ending the Iran-Iraq War before Iraq attacked again]. There was a difference of opinion between Mr. [Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar] Velayati and me, and I felt somehow that he was not comfortable with me being there.”
    • Larijani connected the resolution to the present nuclear agreement: “The important thing is that the administration must not feel that its support and success lies completely with this agreement. We defend Mr. Rouhani’s administration as a popular administration whether or not the Westerners implement this document. The administration must not feel pressure that it is forced to put this document in place. This is the first thing that causes our document to come along hastily. The next point is that this document, although it has no legal basis, there is a responsibility to deliver. We must be vigilant of where the opposing side violates its responsibilities.”
    • “I believe that the opposing side has violated its responsibilities and this agreement. One example is the new sanctions… The threat to Iran that all options are on the table is also contrary to the agreement. In my opinion, America and Europe have had clear violations. Our negotiators are capable people and must not feel that they are force to somehow reach a result.”
    • Larijani also criticized the EU parliamentary delegation’s meeting with formerly jailed activists Nasrin Satoudeh and Jafar Panahi [Dec. 17 INR] during its visit to Tehran, saying “The travel of parliament is a very good thing … but the thing that they did was very bad and a violation. No one agreed with this violation. Foreign delegations that come to Iran must bring the subject up with the Foreign Ministry if they want to meet with someone. The country has the right to organize this meeting or not.”
    • “The statement that this dear MP [Ali Motahari] issued [asking for a review of political prisoners’ cases], from a view of its political content, seems to me to consider the Sedition [2009 protest movement] just a domestic legal issue. This is not correct. The nature of the Sedition was a full-scale coup d’etat against the regime, which cooperated extensively with America, European governments, the Zionist regime, and all of the anti-Revolutionaries. Entering the Sedition was a great injustice to the regime. People who enter elections are responsible to observe election laws. When it so happened that before the end of the elections, one of the candidates spoke and said ‘I am the elected president,’ a great crime occurred. The first victim was democracy, because democracy is not created through street brigades, but rather through ballot boxes.”
  • Tehran Temporary Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Mouhadi Kermani harshlycriticized Saudi Arabia and urged Iran to be very cautious during negotiations with the West:
    • “The countless crimes that the takfiris commit, where were these criminals? When did these individuals develop? They are still growing. Their minds are influenced with toxic information and they carry out suicide operations. They kill themselves in order to also kill Muslims, and they think that with this action they are going to paradise. This disgrace has reached the level that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin proposed to the [UN] Security Council that Saudi Arabia should be placed on the terrorist list. They commit such crimes as holy [actions]? What horror they create in the hearts of Muslims.”
    • The ayatollah also addressed nuclear negotiations, asking “Are there words and terms used in the Geneva agreement that must be made precise in order to be completely transparent? Some of the words are ambiguous…The American bully is the Great Satan. The Great Satan is also the Great Satan during negotiations. They have no other work than hostility towards Islam. That is why it is necessary to be careful, so that the efforts of the Iranian delegation are not ultimately damaged.”
  • Integration Parliamentary Commission Member Jafar Ghaderi gave a pessimistic take on ongoing budgetary negotiations. He commented on the fruitlessness of a meeting between the administration and parliamentary economists, saying “Unfortunately this meeting turned into a general session, with more than 80 MPs present. At the beginning of the meeting, the president announced that solutions to implement the second phase of the targeted subsidies had not been reached…There needs to be a more limited meeting between the administration and Parliament in order to investigate important subjects like implementing the second phase of the targeted subsidies.”
  • National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member and former senior IRGC commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari criticized US congressional pursuit of new, conditional sanctions: “This issue properly shows what the Supreme Leader said about the promise-breaking of America and European countries taking place towards the agreements with Iran.” He closed by saying, “Until these countries put aside their greedy spirits, they can only be faced on the battlefield, and negotiations with them will have no benefit.”

Diplomacy

  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Member Mohammad Hassan Asfari indicated that “As a representative of Parliament, I will be traveling to [Lebanon] to accompany the Ministry of Foreign Affairs team.”
    • “During this trip, in addition to studying bilateral relations between Iran and Lebanon, examining the attack of the Iranian embassy and the suspicious death of Majid al-Majid are also on the agenda.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani will be attending and speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland during its annual meeting. The forum is scheduled to take place January 22-25.
  • International Advisor to the Speaker of Parliament Hossein Sheikholeslam noted that the “South Korean speaker of Parliament will be traveling to meet with his Iranian counterpart” in a few weeks, concluding the visits of a number of foreign delegations, including parliamentary delegations from Ireland, Mexico, and Kenya.

Military and Security  

  • IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke about the past and present abilities of the IRGC: “During the years of the Holy Defense [Iran-Iraq War], the IRGC found its path like water. Wherever the enemy discerned this path, the IRGC ventured to discover a new path. Combining this behavior with faith and trust meant that it was not defeated.”
    • “Our art was drawing our own path and reaching it. Speeches by the US president like ‘It is not possible to stop Iran’s strategy’ indicate the weakness and inability of the enemy and the greatness and power of the holy system of Iran.”
    • “The result of the 8-Years War [Iran-Iraq War] was that the Imam [Khomeini] and the nation of Iran taught foreigners that you can attack Iran, but the result of the war is in Iran’s hands.”
    • “It is possible that by 2030, there will no longer be a trace of some of the southern Persian Gulf kingdoms. Some Arab countries threw takfiri groups at the people of Iraq and Syria, and these groups will ultimately rise within these countries.”
    • “Some of these countries have worked with Israel. Whatever they do in Iraq and Syria is to Israel’s benefit. The same is true in Egypt. Whenever war occurs in Islamic countries and Muslims kill one another and waste their own lives and resources, this is to Israel’s benefit and is a cause of stable Israeli security.”
    • “They act completely in line with America’s goals. We warn them of the fate of the Shah of Iran who also put his hand in the hands of the Zionists and Americans. We say to them that the Shah’s fate will be your inevitable fate.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Senior nuclear Negotiator Abbas Eraghchi participated in the second round of negotiations with EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid in Geneva. He announced that Iran and the P5+1 “have reached solutions on three of the main differences. These solutions are subject to approval in the capitals. The result of these investigations has been transferred to the countries’ capitals. Following that, the final decision making will be made in the capitals and the results will be announced.”
  • Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi spoke at the commemoration of the death of Reza Ghashghaei, a driver who was killed alongside a nuclear scientist in January 2012, and praised the work of scientists and the negotiations team for allowing Iran to “stand victoriously against Global Arrogance [the West]”.
    • “God does not change a nation unless it creates that change itself.”
    • “Today, the West raises [the way of] interaction not out of good-will, but out of their inability and weakness.”
  • Salehi spoke later about plans to increase the production of electricity via nuclear power plants over the course of the next year, saying “We are now speaking with Russian parties about this. If we reach a result, in [2014] we will witness the beginning of the selection of a new power plant at Bushehr.”
    • Salehi mentioned the 1992 agreement between the two countries that promised a 4 megawatt plant, and said: “We hope to complete the 1992 Protocol in the framework of signing a new agreement in order to … build a second power plant at Bushehr.”
    • Salehi believes that it will take the new plant about 7-8 years from now to become operational and added that Rouhani had allocated funds for it in next year’s budget.

Economy

  • Secretary of the Iran Vehicle Manufacturer’s Association Ahmad Naematbakhsh said that vehicle producers “are currently continuously experiencing overall losses.” He said that, “As in the whole world, appraising the value of cars must lie with the car manufacturers so that they can price the margins based on market action.”
  • New currency prices were announced yesterday, in which a US dollar was given the value of 2,980 tomans.
  • Economics Ministry Economic Deputy Shapour Mohammadi said “In the budget bill, three scenarios for changing the value of [gasoline] in the targeted subsidies have been codified.” He added that proposals were still being investigated by the ministry and that “These numbers have sill not been finalized, which is why they cannot be announced.”

By Iran Tracker

 

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