Iran news round up – February 11, 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

  • President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech marking the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at Freedom Square in Tehran. He discussed Revolutionary values, broad economic policy, nuclear negotiations, external threats  and relations with the US:Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani  said of the chant “we are eager for options on the table” heard during pro-Islamic Republic marches: “These new slogans are the signs of the Iranian nation’s intellectual maturity and resistance. The enemies of the nation are facing such a people and certainly recognition of the people prevents hasty measures.” He said that recent accusations that the SNSC prevented the annual Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) missile exercise “has no validity and the matter is something else. Those who stated it were mistaken and their information is incorrect.”
    • “We have been victorious whenever we set partisanship aside and united as a nation.”
    • “Our honorable Imam [Khomeini] added that just as we were serious in war we are serious in peace.”
    • “This Revolution was to overthrow the coup d’état regime and also sought to end misplaced, illegitimate and erroneous American meddling in Iranian [affairs].”
    • “It was this nation that stood with Islamic motivation to resist humiliation.”
    • “This administration is accountable to the people and will accept criticism; we take pride in constructive [dialogue].”
    • “The administration will try to reduce the inflation rate to 25% next year with God’s favor and strength.”
    • “The administration has taken a serious step in the field of confronting stagnation and will return growth to the economy.”
    • “The first steps to reduce last year’s negative 5.8% growth close to zero will be taken at the beginning of this year [March is end of Persian New Year].”
    • “Projections indicate that it is possible to reach negative 0.7% which is a source of great pride for the administration.”
    •  “The administration has extensive planning for joint oil and gas fields. We will witness its first effect s next year and on [February 11, 2015].”
    • “Our youth should await positive measures by the administration in the field of the internet and national information network.”
    • “The entire world must know that our negotiations with the P5+1 have been based on good will. We sought to announce to the world with a great voice the Supreme Leader’sfatwa in prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons and take away the enemies’ unrealistic and false excuses.”
    • “Of course, Iran has continuously resisted against an attack. If today anyone has an intention to attack, it must know that the great Iranian nation will stand against the aggressors.”
    • “During negotiations, we wanted to illustrate that sanctions have been incorrect. I announce with a loud voice on behalf of the Iranian nation that threats against the Iranian nation are worthless and childish because our nation has persevered against various threats during the past thirty-five years and has reached victory.”
    • “Iran considers the language of threat to be against international law and decorum. The malevolent ones must know that any threats will result in the solidarity and resistance of the Iranian people. Those who make threats must understand that they are standing against the greatness of history and a nation that has never been defeated.”
    • “If there are those who imagine that there is a threat against the Iranian nation on their table, they need new glasses. There are no military threats against the Iranian nation on any tables in the world.”
    • “The movement of the Iranian nation toward the peak of peaceful nuclear knowledge and technology will be permanent and the West has understood well that the path of sanctions is incorrect.”
    • Addressing Europe and US: “If during the negotiations you move within the framework of the Iranian nation’s rights, mutual respect and interaction you will hear a positive answer from the Iranian nation.”
    • “But if they seek to repeat the incorrect method of the past they must be aware that they have taken a step to the detriment of the region, their own nation and global stability and it will be clear that all of their accusations during the past few years have been baseless.”
    • “All the world must know that the Iranian nation has not and will not fear threats and sanctions.”
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  • Head of the Friday Prayer Leader Policy Making Council Ayatollah Reza Taghavi criticized the US and Sunni militants, warned that Iran will raze Tel Aviv if Israel undertakes “an iota of wrong”:Chief Prosecutor Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei announced, “Until the leaders of sedition [2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi] do not state absolution to these criminal measures nothing will occur. Also, individuals who strive to lift house arrest will not reach any results.”
    • “What a thought America has today; it thinks that it can cause our nation to retreat an iota from its beliefs with its options on the table… These options are not worth anything to them. They seek to weaken our nation, but this experience has still yet to become a lesson for them. It is this nation that has emerged from such tests with its head held high and has shown that it obeys the velayat [guardianship of jurisprudence] and its righteous path of [third Shi’a Imam] Hossein and [Ayatollah] Khomeini.”
    • “You sought to defeat [Lebanese] Hezbollah in a week but were unable to. You sought to raze Gaza to the ground but were unable to. You sought to occupy Syria but were unable to, because we did not allow it to happen. You seek to alter the map of the Middle East, but are incapable of doing so.”
    • “If the bond between this Revolution and the people were to be torn apart, it would have been so at the very beginning following all the problems and hardship that befell this people. America must know that today the heroic Basij, the brave IRGC and proud Artesh of Islam are prepared to answer the small assault with all their might. If an iota of wrong stems from this Zionist tumor and cancer, we will raze Tel Aviv to the ground from Tehran.”
    • “Our military advisors are present in Syria and provide advice and aid. You do not have the capability to confront the thoughts of our military scientists. Now you intend to inflict harm on Islam’s image with your actions. You decapitate the fetuses of mothers, and take pride in decapitating hundreds of Syrian heads in a day, but do not dare fire a single shot towards Israel because you commit such savage and anti-human measures with the dirty dollars of the House of Saud and the usurper Zionist regime.”
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized “unity and support” of the people during the negotiations.
  • Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht announced, “If we sit at the negotiations table with a smile, the reason is that we seek to prevent the violent image that they seek to portray of Iranian diplomats and show Iran’s kind image. But this smile is not a reason for us to forget their hostilities.”
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi also emphasized unity and stated, “Any achievement that we have gained during the past thirty-five years, including independence, our victory in [Iran-Iraq] War and scientific progress, including the nuclear matter were all due to the people’s presence.”
  • Religious Seminaries International Affairs Deputy Mohammad Hassan Zamani refuted claims that Sunnis are prohibited to hold Friday prayers in Tehran: “Currently four Sunni Friday prayers are held in Tehran.”

Diplomacy

Military and Security

  • Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi attended a march celebrating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Zanjan province and warned of “a greater defeat than Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan” for the US and Israel’s destruction in the event of either country taking military action. He also claimed that the Islamic Revolution will herald the rise “of a great Islamic world” in this century:
    • “Marching with the glorious great Iranian nation is the officials’ foreign policy capital and support in the arena of international relations and diplomacy.”
    • “The message of the courageous Zanjan province youth at the 22nd of Bahman march to the Americans and the Zionists is that you faced defeat in the preemptive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. You spent billions of dollars, had thousands dead and also thousands of disabled war veterans, and your economic crisis in America is one of the reasons for your defeat in occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. Then how do you talk about the military option against the Iranian nation after these defeats?!”
    • “Of course the Iranian nation and armed forces are prepared for total defense with all strength and will answer any of your attacks with mutual and unimaginable strikes. You understand well that US bases and also several thousand troops stationed in the vicinity of Iran are very vulnerable. Does your society have the tolerance for several thousand deaths?”
    • “The message of this march to enemies beyond Iran’s region and individuals, who without shame and by insulting our people’s intelligence continuously talk of the options on the table, is that if they commit any idiocy the leadership of the Islamic Revolution, the great Iranian nation and strong armed forces will cause you to face a defeat greater than Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
    • “The answer of your firm marches to the child-killing Zionists is how do you seek to fight Iran when you were defeated in Lebanon’s 33 Day War and Gaza’s 22 Day War? Commencement of war with Iran means the annihilation of the Zionist regime by the forces of Iranian Hezbollah and Lebanese Hezbollah.”
    • “We are currently placed in extremely complicated political, economic, cultural and social situations at the national, regional and global levels. According to the statements of the Supreme Leader, we are at a historical turning point.”
    • “By God’s favor, this century is the century of global Islamic Awakening and the formation of the great power of the Islamic world. The beginning of this power formation was the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.”
    • “Without a doubt, the Islamic Awakening of the past few years were affected and inspired by the heroic and revolutionary behavior of the Islamic Iranian people.”
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi emphasized obedience to the “divine” Supreme Leader and the Revolution’s commitment to the transformation of the Middle East:Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haj Sadeghi said the three fundamental principles of the Islamic Revolution are religious identity, obedience to the Supreme Leader and “people’s presence in the scene.” He added that “The fourth principle is an axe against the system of blasphemy, oppression, tyranny and monarchy. In the modern era we announce to our enemies America, England and the Zionist regime that we will not be satisfied with anything else other than your deaths.”
    • “Divine leaders have several important duties. Introducing divine trust, religion and Shari’a to the people; organizing religious rule and guarding religion’s prescription are the most important of this duty.”
    • “The leadership is bound to guard Islam’s principles and message software. In Islamic Iran, the Supreme Leader strives to preserve what the Imam has determined to be red lines.”
    • “One of the lines that the Imam emphasized was persevering against Arrogance [West] which must still continue.”
    • “The groundwork of the Supreme Leader’s rule in society is created with the people’s support. God has placed a duty for the people towards the Supreme Leader; this duty is producing the Supreme Leader’s power for humanity’s guidance.”
    • “Supreme Leader is the necessary condition for religious rule and the people are the sufficient condition for religious rule. The duty that the people have towards the Supreme Leader is obedience, support, patience and perseverance because perseverance is the path to victory.”
    • “Iran’s Islamic Revolution is the fourth monotheistic revolution which must consider the groundwork and horizon of the Islamic system for victory and durability, and strengthen revolutionary principles and religious law in order to transform the Middle East and introduce Islam.”
  • Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated, “The enemies must learn from Iran’s options on the table which is that same passionate presence in the scene of marches. The enemies must see this presence and let go of their wickedness against the people and Iran’s Islamic Revolution.”
  • Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Base Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Farzad Esmaili announced the unveiling of new radar and missile systems and stated, “Low altitude missile systems are at their final stage, which will be revealed on [April 18, 2014]. The radar system is also a tactical system and is like an inactive eye.”

Economy

  • Southern Pars Phases 17 and 18 Project Director Ali Reza Laeiji announced the successful completion of eleven gas well rings in Phase 18 and added that phase 17 is 99% complete, due to be completed next month. These two gas fields are slated to produce 50 million cubic meters of natural gas, 80 thousand natural gas barrels and 400 tons of sulfur per day, and 1 million tons of ethane and 1.05 million LPGs per year.

By AEI Critical Threat

 

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